Fire Pit Safety Tips 101. Things Everyone Should Know

  • by: Joshua Cooper
  • Reading time: 7 min.
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Did you know that about 3655 people die every year due to fire-related accidents in the U.S? Imagine, 15200 individuals suffer severe burns within the same period.

If you aren’t careful, you, a family member, or your pets may be the next victims.

Fire Pit Safety Tips

What are the safety measures you should take when dealing with fire pits?

There are several precautions you can take, depending on the firepit you’re using. We shall tell you the fire pit safety tips you should know and answer a few FAQs.

This article covers installation and purchasing precautions right to maintenance practices.

Type to Use

Pits fall into various categories. The type of fire pit you will purchase or install determines the safety operations you will employ around it. Besides, the size and ease of moving will also affect the fire pit safety tips you’ll use.

Permanent or Portable Fire Pits?

With permanent fire pits, there is no risk of toppling over, unlike portable ones. Some of the massive but portable pits might still be difficult to move around. That, however, does not wholly eliminate the toppling risk.

Permanent pits are suitable for homeowners with children and pets who love to run around. Likewise, if you love having guests and parties involving drinking in your home, a permanent unit is your best option.

Wood, Propane, or Natural Gas Fire Pits?

There are three main categories of fuels used in fire pits. The fuel source can determine the safety precautions to take.

It is not typical to have a portable natural gas unit. This is because you have to conduct gas line installations in your outdoor living space. Hence, this is an excellent investment in your home as you run no risk of tipping over natural gas pits.

There are many portable propane units. Most propane units will automatically shut off the gas supply if you tip them over hence ensuring safety.

The majority of homeowners love wood fires due to the sound and smell produced while burning. However, wood gives off sparks that can start a fire if they fall on combustible substances. Some woods like pine are also unsafe to use and need a lot of care and maintenance if used.


You might get tempted to buy or install a large fire pit. However, a large fire pit is more challenging to control than a smaller unit. Natural gas and propane fire pits have limits to the maximum size of fire allowed.

You may want to make a large wood pit during home improvement. Having an expansive wood-burning fire pit leads to more embers, making an accidental fire easier. So, stick to what is enough for you.

Fire Pit Installations and Location

There are a few terms of use concerning choosing the placement site.

  • If you have a fire pit in your backyard, maintain at least ten feet from structures, including your house.
  • Don’t place your fire pit underneath power lines and tree branches.
  • Find out the laws concerning the installation and use of fire pits in your location. Some areas may require a permit or a homeowner’s insurance policy before starting any fire in backyards.

Fire Pit Surfaces

Be careful with the surface on which you place your fire pit. Don’t place your fire pit on your wood deck as it may catch fire. Your fire pit surface should be fire-resistant such as concrete, stones, rocks, and dirt.

How to Design Your Seating Area Considering Safety Rules

Safe seating around the pit prevents people from getting burnt or accidents. For homeowners, you can ensure your guests sit at a safe distance by getting immovable seats like concrete benches. You can also have very heavy chairs and sitting logs that will be difficult to move around.

To be safe and still enjoy the fire, set the seating area 5-10 feet away from the fire pit. Maintain a safe distance even when roasting marshmallows.

Avoid Accelerants

Never use lighter fluid to rekindle or light your fire pit. They release toxic gases upon burning, and the resultant flare-ups may lead to fire accidents.

Besides, lighter fluid-induced flames may be difficult to extinguish with water. Stick to things like tinder and fire starters.


  • Refrain from using highly flammable cloth material around your fire pits like rayon and cotton.
  • Avoid baggy clothing as it might catch fire easily.
  • Tie anything loose like hair and shoelaces and tack away loose materials like necklaces. Untied shoelaces can make you fall right into the flames.

Check the Weather

It is not best to get a fire pit going during highly windy conditions. You will have difficulty starting the fire and also containing it. Sparks can fly with ease and cause burning.

You also don’t want to get caught in a storm. A weather forecast can help you in scheduling the best time for a get-together in your home.

Fire Extinguishing and Tending

Never leave your fire pit unattended even for a few minutes. Always have a fire extinguisher or a water source like a garden hose around if the fire accidentally starts spreading.

Once you are done, make sure you extinguish all embers before leaving the fire pit. If you aren’t planning to stay outside for a long time, use softwoods as they burn fast.

Cooking Utensils

Cast-iron is a very good utensil. When some iron leaks into your food, it is nutritious to your body on the bright side. On the other hand, aluminum leaking into your food can result in diseases.


Is a Chiminea Safer Than a Fire Pit?

Typically, a chiminea is a safer option. There is better control of how burning occurs in a chiminea as the flames burn upwards directed towards the stock. Consequently, it doesn’t produce sparks that will disturb you or cause a tragedy.

Air moves in a similar motion, getting drawn in and out through the stock. This motion leads to a draft that directs fumes through the chiminea’s stock. Hence you will reduce the risk of respiratory infections like cirrhosis.

Additionally, asthmatic individuals and those with respiratory ailments can sit around the fire comfortably. This makes them excellent when having guests around.

Chimineas absorb more heat due to their construction materials. This leads to them being very hot even after a while. If you are not careful, you may burn your hand by touching the surface.

Also, freestanding chimineas are at risk of toppling, which may injure children and pets playing around them.

Backyard fire pits may have unruly flames, especially during windy conditions. This may send smoke and sparks all over, causing discomfort. Plus, it may cause accidental fires if kindling or tinder is lying around in your yard.

You can make a few modifications to your pit to minimize smoke and spark production. You can use the upside-down method, which involves arranging fuel from large to small pieces. Still, you can use the charcoal method that involves a triangular arrangement of kindling.

You may also decide to create a Dakota fire pit that has ample air inlet through the vent. A spark screen can help keep embers from flying all over.

How Far Does a Fire Pit Need to Be Away From the House?

When it comes to backyard pits and how far they need to be from the house, it depends on the unit. Keep at least ten meters if you have a natural gas fire pit. With a barbecue or portable fire pit, maintain a 15 feet distance.

Can You Use a Fire Pit in Your Backyard?

You can use a permanent or portable unit in your yard without a hitch by considering safety tips. Do your best to have a pit not exceeding a diameter of three feet and a height of two feet.

These dimensions only apply to your fire pit’s fuel area and not the entire pit. You can design your fire pit in any manner you want and have it extend even to include concrete benches if you own a home.


Make Sure to educate your kids to ensure safety. Tend to your fire always, keep the ideal distance, check your local laws, and have water around.

We are here to give you all the content and tips you need, so contact us to answer any issues you may have. You may contact us by commenting right below or visiting our social media platforms.