Essential Fire Pit Rules: 6 Smart Guidelines for Safety and Enjoyment

Fire pits can be a great addition to your outdoor space, but it’s important to understand the safety of using these essential fire pit rules.

While there may be specific regulations depending on your province or state, some general rules apply to all fire pits.

One of the great delights during the summertime is sitting around a fire pit with friends and family, but there are some fire pit rules to keep you safe.

Here are the 6 fire pit rules this post discusses:

  1. Check wind conditions
  2. Build The Fire In An Open Spot
  3. Never Use Construction Lumber
  4. Have An Extinguishing Plan
  5. Never Leave A Fire Alone
  6. Drink Responsibly

After spending some time, I have outlined specific rules and guidelines for a safe fire pit experience.

And in case you’re very new to firepits and fires, check out our guide on how to light a fire pit.

Cropped view of fireman holding red extinguisher while standing near white board talking about fire pit rules.

Related Reading: How Hot Does a Fire Pit Get? [FUEL SOURCE DIFFERENCES]

Wind Conditions

Before lighting a fire pit, check the weather to avoid windy days. Most fire pits have air holes to allow for proper airflow.

The wind can make it challenging to light a fire pit as it blows the sparks around the area.

Sparks falling on brush or wooden structures can start a fire.

If there is wind, make sure it is not blowing towards you. Smoke will blow in the opposite direction of the wind.

To avoid smoke and potential damage to your deck or surroundings, it’s important to know the direction of the wind when setting up a fire pit.

You can direct people to sit on the upwind side of the pit to stay clear of the smoke and minimize any negative impact.

Related Reading: Fire Pit Deck Safety: Essential Tips to Consider Before Use

Build The Fire In An Open Area

If you have a portable fire pit, place it in an open area. If building a stationary pit, ensure it’s located in an open area.

Make sure there are no overhanging objects when lighting the fire pit as it is a crucial safety rule.

Furthermore, keep the immediate area around the pit clear.

Stray sparks from a fire pit can ignite nearby objects, even when there’s no wind. It’s important to keep the area around the fire pit clean.

It’s also a good idea to ensure you’re using an adequate base for your firepit. This will help ensure your fire pit doesn’t damage your patio or other areas.

Never Use Construction Lumber

In order to start a fire, you need the right kind of wood. Not all wood burns equally.

This is why you must be careful and mindful when choosing a firepit for your wood deck.

One of the rules for fire pits is to avoid using construction wood such as plywood, chemically treated wood, pressure-treated boards and posts, and MDF.

The reason why they cannot be recycled is that they contain chemical resins, adhesives, and other substances. Burning the items would release toxic fumes, which can be harmful to inhale.

And if you’re using a different fuel type, never burn wood in a gas fire pit.

The best wood to use for burning is oak tree branches.

You can also purchase seasoned hardwood logs or kindling.

Softwoods are an alternative, but they are less efficient and produce more smoke and sparks.

Have An Extinguishing Plan

One important rule for fire pits is to keep methods for quickly extinguishing a fire on hand at all times.

While fire can be enjoyable, it can also be dangerous and cause damage if not properly controlled.

It’s important to bring a shovel and water bucket even if you’ve taken precautions with your fire pit.

An emergency could happen and it’s better if you can act at that moment rather than running off to get tools to put out a flame. This will help ensure your safety with outdoor fire pits.

A fire only needs a few seconds to spread and cause all kinds of damage.

On that note, if you have children, make sure they know how to stop drop and roll in order to put out the flames.

It’s also wise to have a fire blanket on hand too.

Tips on how to safely put out a campfire

Never Leave A Fire Alone

One of the most critical fire pit rules is even if you’ve extinguished the flames and all that is left is glowing embers, don’t leave it around.

Even if you’re gone for a moment, make a point of having someone around at the fire to keep an eye on it.

While tiny flames seem harmless, they can still cause fires if left alone. Remember that blazing forest fires all start with a single spark.

Although it’s unlikely to start a forest fire in your backyard, you still don’t want to deal with one if it can be prevented. It’s also best practice to have a ring for your firepit.

Drink Responsibly

When it comes to the final fire pit rules, it is important to keep in mind that drinking responsibly is crucial.

While it’s perfectly okay to drink beer or wine around the fire pit, it’s important to remember that alcohol and fire do not mix well.

Alcohol is flammable. However excessive drinking will cause impaired coordination, reflexes, and judgment to the drinker.

If friends or family are planning to drink, get them to keep it in moderation to avoid injuries or accidents.

Make sure to keep a safe distance from others and plan for potential alcohol-related accidents.

Stay Safe, Burn Safely

Always prioritize safety when using fire pits. Check state and local regulations and no-burn alerts in your area before starting a fire.

Make sure to follow these fire pit safety rules for a secure burn.

Related Reading: Are Wildlife Biologists Happy? [day in the life]

Final Notes

It doesn’t take much for a safe fire to become an emergency situation.

But it also doesn’t take much to be proactive and significantly reduce this risk.

When starting a fire, prioritize safety by taking necessary precautions.

Having a fire pit can make for a wonderful outdoor experience. Just a few precautions and preparations will ensure a safe and pleasurable time for all.

Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!