Safely Using Your Firepit
Fire pits can offer lots of fun, but they can also offer problems if they are not safely used. From the small portable kind to the ‘permanent’ bricked-in patio additions becoming so popular, fire pits pose safety risks that have to be managed. Even the portability of screened bowls, which is an excellent feature that allows them to be safely positioned, has unwittingly contributed to unintended fires.
A burning fire pit should never be moved without a fire extinguisher handy and even then is not a good idea. No matter how in control you may feel of the fire pit with its nice cool handles, you can stumble and it can slip. The possible consequences bear no resemblance to spilling soup on the carpet when you carry a big pot to the table…it is fire.
Many homeowners, especially those with children of a certain age, are deciding to eliminate that risk with a fixed-position sturdy brick fire pit. They add considerable value to the home, both in terms of its assessed price and its allure for current and future owners. Obviously, at a different end of the initial cost continuum, these ‘permanent’ fire pits can also return some of their up-front cost with longer lifetimes.
Transforming average patios into delightful outdoor seating areas, fixed fire pits immediately elevate the home’s charm. They can also safely raise the fire base – the fuel chips to be moved around with pokers – to a more comfortable height. Of more importance, however, to some homeowners, is the added safety that an ‘unmovable’ fire pit offers.
Still, portable fire pits – simple cast iron bowls with meshed screens – allow them to be moved well away from flammables, and they can go along to other places entirely. As long as their initial placement allows for proper clearances and never-predictable changes in wind, they offer portable fun. ALL fire pits need to be maintained in good clean condition and used responsibly for the fun around them to be safe as well.