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Here’s What You Should Know About Fire-Pits

outdoor fire-pit fun, henrico va With summer on the horizon, many homeowners are moving beyond the indoor fireplace and installing backyard fire pits to enhance their outdoor living space.  It is the hottest trend in outdoor entertainment. According to the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), outdoor fireplaces and fire pits were the number one outdoor design feature in 2018. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, homeowners are continuing to invest in outdoor living spaces. So if you’re considering a fire pit for your backyard, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Local Regulations

Before purchasing a fire pit, check with local authorities for regulations relating to outdoor fire pits in your community. Many municipalities, rental communities, and homeowners associations limit or restrict the use of outdoor fires. If you are renting a home, you will need permission from your landlord. Also, don’t forget to check your homeowner’s insurance policy to make sure you are covered in the event of an accidental fire or injury related to the fire pit. Otherwise, you could be liable for any property damage or injuries if an accident occurs.

Will It Be Portable or Permanent?

The first thing to consider is whether your fire pit will be portable or permanent. Permanent fire pits offer more flexibility as to size, style, and features to match your outdoor lifestyle.  You can also hire a contractor to build a custom fire pit for an impressive backyard experience. However, if you live in a community that doesn’t allow backyard fire pits but still want to enjoy outdoor fires, a portable fire pit is another option. Portable fire pits like fire bowls, fire stoves, and fire tables are made of copper, iron, or steel, with gas and wood-burning fuel options. Their compact design makes it easy to set up in a park, campsite, or recreational area that allows fire pits.

Where Will the Fire Pit Be Located?

Since outdoor fires can be unpredictable, you need to select a safe location for the fire pit carefully. Ensure there is sufficient clearance of at least 15 feet of space from your home and other structures, so nearby combustible objects don’t accidentally catch fire from a sudden wind gust, sparks, or flying embers. The fire pit should be installed on a flat, fire-resistant surface. Don’t place a fire pit under a tree, on grass, or in any enclosed space.

sitting around a fire-pit, short pump va

Sitting Around the Fire Pit

When entertaining around the backyard fire pit, keep chairs about three to five feet from the open flames, so guests don’t get accidentally burned from any sparks or embers. If you’re going to be toasting marshmallows or cooking over the fire pit, ensure clothing, sleeves, and hair are away from the fire.  Also, provide sufficient ambient lighting in the evening to safely move around the backyard to help avoid accidents. Have a first aid kit, fire extinguisher or garden hose handy just in case.

Extinguish the Fire Pit Before Leaving the Backyard

Whether you are enjoying a warm fire in your fireplace indoors or a fire-pit or outdoor fireplace, it is essential to extinguish flames completely before you leave. Even a smoldering fire is dangerous because it can reignite. To safely extinguish the fire, use a shovel or rake to spread the ashes and coals.

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