Essential Backyard Fire Pit Safety Tips: Run Your Fire Pit Like A Pro!

Paul West/ Outdoor Entertaining

Fire pits can be a great addition to any outdoor space, providing warmth and ambiance to a backyard oasis. However, they can also pose a significant risk if not used properly. This article covering backyard fire pit safety tips will outline key tips and tricks for enjoying your fire pit while staying safe.

Whether you’re a seasoned fire pit enthusiast or a first-time user, it’s important to understand the potential risks and hazards associated with fire pit use. From basic fire safety rules to gas fire pit maintenance, this article will cover everything you need to know to ensure a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy the benefits of your fire pit without compromising your safety or the safety of those around you.

Key Takeaways

  • Fire pits can be dangerous if not used properly, so precautions should be taken before lighting a fire.
  • Basic fire rules should be followed, including using safety gloves and a fire screen, checking weather conditions and burn bans, and keeping children away from the fire pit.
  • Properly putting out a fire pit involves allowing the wood to burn down to ash, pouring water on all of the ashes, and using a shovel to stir wet ashes and remaining chunks of wood together.
  • Gas fire pits require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure safe operation, including keeping the vent openings and surrounding areas free and clear of dirt and debris and having the pit and gas supply inspected once a year by a licensed professional.

Precautions and Guidelines

The precautions and guidelines for safely using fire pits are essential to ensure a peaceful and safe outdoor experience.

In 2021, nearly 6,200 emergency room visits were related to injuries from fire pits or outdoor heaters. Young children are particularly prone to these injuries, and pets also can get burned. The National Fire Protection Association says that fire pits are similar to grills in their ability to spark fires in nearby homes or other structures; backyard barbecues lead to nearly 10,000 home fires a year. Familiarizing yourself with the things that can go wrong around a fire pit, and how to prevent accidents, can help keep summer evenings peaceful and safe.


Basic fire rules must be followed, and safety gloves are necessary when handling a hot fire pit.

A fire screen should always be used to avoid sparks from jumping out of the pit and causing unintended fires.

It is crucial to locate fires at least 10-20 feet away from surrounding plants and buildings, providing enough space for the fire to burn without causing any damage.

Proper wood arrangement is also an important consideration when using a fire pit.

Wood should be arranged with space between the pieces, allowing air to circulate and the fire to burn correctly.

It is essential to avoid placing plastics or any flammable material near the fire pit to prevent any unintended fires.

By following these guidelines, individuals can enjoy the relaxing and calming ambiance a fire pit provides while ensuring they are safe and secure.

Risks and Hazards

One must be aware of the potential hazards associated with the use of an outdoor fire feature, especially when it comes to unattended fires, flammable materials, and the risk of unintentional fires caused by hot embers.

Hot embers can easily be tipped over by pets or wild animals, causing an unplanned fire if they come into contact with flammable materials. Moreover, sparking from cooking embers mixed with nearby fuel sources can present an unintended fire risk.

Therefore, it is important to keep the area around the fire pit clear and remove anything nearby that is susceptible to heat or is flammable. Wetting the surface area surrounding the fire pit can also minimize fire risk and any possible damage caused by ejected sparks.

Furthermore, it is important to follow fire pit regulations to prevent accidents. Local burn bans or burn ordinances should be checked before lighting a fire. Children should never be left unattended near a fire pit, and the ground should be level when using a portable fire pit.

Fires should also be located at least 10-20 feet away from surrounding plants and buildings, and fire pits should never be placed on wood decks. Plastic materials should be kept away from fire pits, and safe pit surfaces include brick, stone, gravel, and concrete.

By following these safety precautions, one can enjoy their outdoor oasis without worrying about potential hazards.

Maintenance and Benefits

Maintenance and regular inspection are crucial for the proper functioning of gas fire pits. Unlike wood-burning fire pits, gas fire pits require attention to the burner, gas lines, connections, hoses, and fittings. It is important to keep the vent openings and surrounding areas free and clear of dirt and debris at all times. Bugs, dirt, and build-up can block the flow of gas and cause a fire. It is recommended to have the pit and gas supply inspected once a year by a licensed professional.

By following simple safety guidelines and maintenance tips, you can ensure your gas fire pit is in good working order.

In addition to safety, gas fire pits may also provide cost and installation benefits. Gas fire pits are generally more expensive to install than wood-burning fire pits due to the cost of gas lines and fittings. However, they may save money in the long run because they do not require the constant purchase of wood. Gas fire pits also do not produce smoke, which may be a benefit for those with respiratory issues. Lastly, gas fire pits are easier to ignite and control than wood-burning fire pits, which may be a benefit for those who want a fire without the hassle of starting and maintaining a wood fire.


What are some important fire pit safety tips you need to know?

When using a fire pit, it is essential to follow some important safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. These tips include:

  • Always place your fire pit in a well-ventilated outdoor area at least 10 feet away from any flammable materials.
  • Never leave a fire pit unattended, and always douse the fire completely before leaving.
  • If using a gas fire pit, check the weather forecast for windy conditions before lighting it.
  • Do not use lighter fluid or any flammable liquids to ignite the fire pit.
  • Keep a bucket of water, a hose, or a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies.

What are the safety rules for using a fire pit?

Following safety rules is crucial when using a fire pit to prevent accidents and ensure everyone’s well-being. Some safety rules include:

  • Always place your fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete or stone, and away from any overhanging trees or structures.
  • Keep children and pets at a safe distance from the fire pit.
  • Never throw any flammable materials into the fire pit, including trash or paper.
  • Avoid sitting too close to the fire, especially when it is windy, as embers and sparks can fly.
  • Only use your fire pit to burn wood or charcoal; do not burn trash, leaves, or other materials.

How should you set up a fire pit for maximum safety?

Properly setting up your fire pit is essential for maximum safety. Follow these tips for setting up your fire pit:

  • Choose a location that is well-ventilated and away from any flammable objects.
  • Place your fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as concrete or stone.
  • Ensure there is enough clearance around the fire pit, at least 10 feet in all directions.
  • Clear the area around the fire pit of any dry leaves, branches, or other flammable materials.
  • If using a portable fire pit, make sure it is stable and placed on a level surface.

Further Reading

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

The Family Handyman

The Home Depot

Paul West
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About Paul West

Longstanding and passionate about really having family fun in the backyard. I'm no expert but I've picked up a thing or two along the way!