Fire safety for backyard fun

BBQ grilling

Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at the family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons. To keep you and your family safe while grilling, follow these Grilling Safely tips...

1. Propane and charcoal BBQ grills should only be used outdoors.

2. The grill should be placed well away from the home, deck railings and out from under eaves and overhanging branches.

3. Keep children and pets away from the grill area.

4. Keep your grill clean by removing grease or fat buildup from the grills and in trays below the grill.

5. Never leave your grill unattended.

Backyard Fire Pits

fire pit

Fire pits are a fantastic addition to any homestead or rural backyard. They are attractive, inexpensive to use and help to extend the use of your yard. But when you use a fire pit you are literally playing with fire! Careless misuse could not only set your own house ablaze, but also could spark a grass fire and endanger others nearby.



Positioning Your Fire Pit

Whether you are using a portable fire pit or planning to install a permanent one, positioning is key to safety:

  • Make sure the fire pit is, at minimum, 10 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard—25 feet is preferable.
  • Do not position a fire pit under a covered porch or low hanging tree branches.
  • Always place a fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as patio blocks or concrete.
  • Do not put a fire pit on a wooden deck or directly on grass.

Preparing Your Fire Pit

  • Clear all flammable materials away from your fire pit before using it. Five feet is a good distance. This “break” in vegetation will help prevent an escaped fire from spreading.
  • Piling dirt or rocks around the pit will also help prevent any fire on the ground from escaping.
  • The fire pit should be at least 6 inches deep at the center and 2 feet across, to help keep the embers and flames contained.

Lighting Your Fire Pit

  • Always check wind direction before you light a fire and remove anything flammable downwind of the pit.
  • If it is too windy, do not light your fire pit.
  • Do not use lighter fluid to light a fire pit; instead, a commercial fire starter stick with kindling on top is ideal.
  • Do not use any flammable fluids (gasoline, lighter fluid, etc.) to light or relight fires.