Safety Tips For Your Outdoor Firepit

Be it roasting marshmallows or telling stories under the stars, a firepit or outdoor fireplace can easily become the focal point of your outdoor space, but only if you and your family take the proper safety precautions this summer and fall. Here are a few great tips to help you protect your new home in Richmond, VA.

  • Because ash and cinders can prove to be a fire hazard, make sure to keep your firepit away from dry wood or leaves. It may be beneficial to move your firepit to a stone, cement, or ceramic surface to help prevent embers from catching fire to your porch or lawn. Wherever you put your firepit, make sure the surface is steady and resistant to rocking.
  • Before using your firepit, make sure your county is not in the middle of a drought, which can exacerbate flash fire conditions. Also check to see if your state or city restricts firepit use by law around your new home in Richmond, VA.  Here’s a link to local county websites where you can find specific information:
    • Chesterfield County
    • Henrico County
    • Hanover County
    • New Kent County
    • Powhatan County
    • Be sure to avoid placing the firepit under or near hanging branches or foliage and be sure to have a bucket of water or fire extinguisher nearby just in case.
    • Before using your firepit for the season, inspect the bowl or hearth to make sure there hasn’t been any damage or corrosion done while your firepit has not been in use.  Embers can spill out through these holes, but vigilance for wear and tear can greatly reduce these types of accidents and aid in protecting your family and your new home in Richmond, VA.
    • When starting your fire, be sure to use fire starters. Dryer lint is fantastic tinder and it can help very small pieces of wood catch. Do not add accelerants like gasoline or lighter fluid to your firepit as it is not only more dangerous, but more likely to damage your firepit.
    • From there, slowly add larger pieces of wood, but do not overfill your firepit- Smokey Bear does not suggest suffering an avalanche of burning wood.
    • Do not leave children unattended around your firepit and be sure to keep a safe distance from the rim.
    • When you are through with your fire, be sure to dump out the ashes and pour water over the embers until everything is out. Be sure to pour water on the debris until there is no more steam. You can store excess or reusable coals or wood in a metal ash bucket after they have been completely put out to use for later.
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