Entertaining, Lifestyle, Making a House a Home

Fire Pits in the Backyard: Do’s and Don’ts

A fire pit can turn your backyard into a special gathering place, but fire is nothing to play with. Follow these tips for safe and beautiful backyard fires.

Staying Safe as You Enjoy the Summer

On a crisp evening, there’s nothing quite like a fire pit to make your backyard feel like a wonderful gathering place. Just picture it: you and your closest friends, gathered around a crackling fire, reminiscing and enjoying each others company.

A fire pit or outdoor fireplace can add plenty of atmosphere and make your backyard a pleasure to inhabit, but it’s important to follow a few simple guidelines if you want to avoid any unfortunate accidents.

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Do Check With the Fire Department

Before you start shopping for backyard fireplaces or purchasing supplies to build your own fire pit, you’ll definitely want to consult with your local fire department. They’ll be able to tell you whether or not fire pits are allowed in your community, and they may also be a source of helpful advice. You don’t want to run afoul of local regulations, and getting in trouble for having a fire when a burn ban is in effect is no fun at all.

Don’t Just Dig a Hole

Sure, you can simply dig a pit and gather a bunch of rocks from your yard to make a fire pit, but there are plenty of other options available. Your fire pit will likely become the focal point and gathering place in your backyard, so why not give it some extra style points?

Do Explore Your Options

You might consider building your own fire pit by following preexisting plans, or you might invest in a gas-powered architectural fire feature. From pre-built outdoor fireplaces to rustic chimneys, there are a lot of options out there. Choose one that is the right size and style for your outdoor space.

Don’t Place Your Fire Near Potential Fire Hazards

An open fire is a pleasure to behold, but only insofar as it stays put. The last thing you need is for your fire to spread beyond the confines of your fire pit or chimney. This is why it’s crucial to put your fire feature far away from anything flammable. Placing a fireplace on a wooden deck is a no-no, and you’ll want to keep it at least 10 feet away from anything that might catch fire, including buildings, wooden sheds, and compost piles. Also, make sure the area is clear of flammable debris, and check for low-hanging tree branches overhead.

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Do Keep Firefighting Equipment Nearby

Of course, just witnessing fire-related mishaps isn’t enough – you have to do something about them. Keep a fire extinguisher, a running hose with a spray nozzle, or a bucket of dirt or water nearby, just in case. Who knows? You might be able to stop a potential house fire before it starts.

Don’t Leave Your Fire Unattended

The last thing you would want is for your fire pit to get out of control. That’s why it’s so important to never leave your fire unattended, and if you must step away, make sure someone else will be there to keep an eye on the situation.

This Is the Life!

A backyard fire is a pleasure in any season, and smart placement and safety precautions can take a lot of the worry out of having a backyard fire pit. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll end up with a backyard fire feature that’s as safe as it is lovely.


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Matty is the Content Marketing Specialist for Homes.com. He's a newly minted homeowner who currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife. When he's not working, he enjoys writing fiction, working on the house, and enjoying the amazing nature that the city has to offer. He is also the founder of NOVEL Creative Agency.

One Reply to Fire Pits in the Backyard: Do’s and Don’ts

  1. I liked that you mentioned you need to install your fire pit away from potential fire hazard. My husband is thinking about installing a fire pit in our backyard, and we are looking for information. I will make sure to installing far from any fire hazard to prevent any problems.

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