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Fire Pit Safety Tips: How to Stay Safe and Prevent Wildfires

Don Layman,  Sr. Mortgage Advisor

August 9, 2021 — 2 min read

Conversation, laughter, music, stargazing ... whether camping in the woods or lounging around the backyard, fire pits are the perfect gathering place for family and friends. You should be cautious when lighting, maintaining, and extinguishing a fire pit. Download our Firepit Safety Checklist (pdf) below to keep these safety tips top of mind.

Placing Your Pit

  • Make sure it sits 10-25 feet from any structure or neighboring yards.
  • Do not position it under a covered porch or low-hanging tree.
  • Do not place it on a wooden deck or in the grass. Put it on a non-flammable surface, like concrete or patio blocks.

Preparing Your Pit

  • Make sure it is at least six inches deep at the center and two feet across.
  • Sweep the area for flammable materials; if too windy, do not light a fire.
  • Keep water, fire blankets, and/or extinguishers close.
  • Use logs that are no more than 3/4 the diameter of the pit; keep logs at a safe distance.

Lighting Your Pit

  • Do not use lighter fluid; use kindling or a starter log.
  • Do not put garbage or soft wood in the fire--these can pop and throw sparks.
  • Position seating at a reasonable distance; keep kids and pets 3 feet away.
  • Don't wear flammable or loose-fitting clothes.

Using Your Fire Pit

  • Never leave your fire unattended.
  • Never leave kids or pets alone near your fire pit.
  • Purchase a wire screen to keep embers in and kids or pets out.
  • Keep careful control of fuel to control flames.


  • Douse flames with water; stir with a shovel to make sure it is extinguished.
  • Discard ashes in a metal container--they could remain hot for several days.
Make safety a priority whenever you are around fire. Download our Fire Pit Safety Checklist (pdf).
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