Backyard Recreational Fires – Safety And Info
There’s nothing like cool summer evenings to gather friends and family around a fire. Of course, campfires in residential areas are frowned upon if not illegal. Still, there is a way to enjoy the pleasures of a fire without the danger of starting a neighborhood catastrophe and of being on the wrong side of local ordinances. You can use a fire pit.
Local Ordinances And Codes
A fire pit in contrast to a campfire is of course safe, but you still should check your local municipality’s ordinances to assure that the construction of your pit and its location corresponds to rules. Be aware that codes and ordinances vary from city to city. So what may be within the rules in one municipality may not be in another. If you intend to construct a fire pit in your backyard or use a portable pit, it is advised that you first check the ordinance and codes.
Once you’ve determined that the local ordinance allows for fire pits, then there are several things to consider before purchasing and arranging for its construction.
Consider The Cost
Just as in other cases in which you consider a big purchase, reflect on how much a fire pit will cost and assure you have the budget to get one.
The cost of a fire pit can vary, but it does depend on the size and style of pit you want. If you want to opt for an inexpensive pit, then you can get a portable model. If you’re willing to spend a little more, then you should be able to afford a pit that is constructed. Fire pits start at about $100 and then go up from there depending on how sophisticated you want it to be. Then there’s the consideration of the amenities you want around the pit as well as its style. The more elaborate you get the more the pit will cost. Luxury-styled pits can cost thousands of dollars.
A permanent fire pit that’s well designed and includes nice amenities can be the focal point of the entire yard. Portable pits are lightweight and can be located anywhere you want.
A popular style of an inexpensive pit could include a fire bowl, which comes in several types including a square design. A bowl could be the ideal option if your backyard is small.
Another important factor that could affect the price, as well as the milieu you wish the pit to achieve, is the dimensions of the pit.
Generally, fire pits can range in size from 20″ to 45″ in diameter. A smaller one would be about 20″ by 25″. A large one could measure as much as 40″ to 45″ in diameter.
Check the space of the area in which you plan to place the pit and consider the size of the entire yard in your analysis.
Fire pit materials can range from stone and tile to stainless steel and copper. Stone is considered best for stationary pits because they’re heavy.
Of course, stainless steel is probably the best material to use if you live in a region of the country where it rains a lot. These materials are rust-resistant. Of course, it will be more expensive.
Other alternative materials include tile and copper. Tile can be more decorative and copper is safe because it is covered with a powder coating, appears shiny and it looks great in your yard.
So, as you can see, a lot goes into a fire pit and all of it can affect the cost.
Fire Pit Placement
The location of the pit is an issue when considering safety. For example, the pit should be some distance from anything that could catch fire. Decide on a location that has plenty of space and is away from structures, plants, and other flammable materials.
You should also consider wind direction as well. You don’t want wind blowing ambers from the fire any distance to where a fire could start. Consider the location of structures that break the wind when selecting the proper place. Then there is also convenience. It can be very convenient to place the pit in the vicinity of an outdoor kitchen or near the door of an indoor kitchen. Pools and patios where people like to congregate are also ideal locations.
Once you have your pit, it’s your responsibility to use it safely. Keep immediate area around it free of loose paper, leaves and other debris. You may want to be extra cautious and place a fire screen around the pit. Don’t build a fire during times when the winds are strong and keep lighter fluid, gasoline and other flammables far away from the pit. It is also urged that you have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher close by. Never leave the fire unattended. And, of course, don’t assign children to be in charge of the fire.
When you burn a fire in the pit be sure to use dry wood. It burns hot, but it’s clean. Damp wood will cause excess smoke, which you want to avoid. A moisture meter will help you determine if the wood you’re burning is dry.
Do not burn household garbage, garden waste, magazines, clothing, plastics or metal in the pit. These items can cause black smoke, which is hazardous to your health.
Stake logs so that there is enough space in which they can breathe. Use trigs or a small amount of newspaper as tinder to start the fire. Never overfill the fire pit with wood. Add wood gradually until the level of the fire is appropriate.
Extinguishing The Fire
When the gathering is over and friends and family members are ready to call it a night, use water to douse the fire. Don’t let the fire die down on its own. Make sure that someone is present with the fire pit until the fire is completely extinguished.
The evening after use of the pit, scoop out the ashes and wood chips and put them into a metal container. Use protective gloves when performing the task. Never put fire pit waste into your household or yard garbage can or in a compost pile. Remnants of a fire may still have enough heat to flame up as much as three days after a fire.
If you’re energetic and are skilled in do-it-yourself projects, then you could design and construct the fire pit yourself. It is best to seek out the advice of a professional as you proceed on the project.
If you would rather have a professional design and construct the pit, then you should seek the help of a professional chimney business.
If you live in the Highland, Wisconsin area, then seek the assistance of Chimney Specialists, Inc. The staff is knowledgeable in fire pits and would be an excellent source for information about designing and constructing the pit. The company is also well versed in the maintenance and care of chimneys and fireplaces. If you have any questions and would like to enlist the help of Chimney Specialists, Inc. in the design and construction of your pit, feel free to call the toll free number (800) 395-6660 or the main phone number at (608) 929-4887. We also advise that you check out the company’s website for more information about the services offered.