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How to Build a Backyard Fire Pit Safely

A fire pit is one of the most popular commodities for homes today. It adds a rustic charm and ambiance that just can’t be beat. Watching the flames dance and smelling the smoke emanating from the wood is enough to relax anyone after the hardest of days. However, as we all know from grade school, fire is dangerous and must be treated with caution and respect. This summer, as you plan a backyard barbecue or party, utilize these fire pit safety tips!

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Methods of Building
The most obvious method of building a fire pit is to follow the structural guidelines of the most common types. The easiest one to build is the fire bowl. This is essentially a metal bowl with a screen on top. Throughout the life of your bowl just make sure to treat the metal and clean it properly to prevent rust and integral damage that might let the fire leak out and catch on anything flammable nearby.

Another popular method is a fire ring made from mortar and limestone. Since this design allows for a more open flame, you’ll want to be sure to clear at least a six foot radius around the pit of any brush or grass that sparks might catch on to. No matter which structure you choose to build, always make sure to select a good spot for the fire pit. Level ground away from buildings and anything else flammable is ideal.

Burning the Right Stuff
When choosing your burning material, although wood is the most popular, be sure to select only wood that hasn’t been pressure treated as this causes toxins to be released into the air as it burns. Natural cedar, oak, and hickory make excellent choices.
Putting the Fire Out
Whenever you’re done with your fire, be sure to put it out completely and safely. Nothing beats water and sand. Remember that your fire isn’t entirely out until the smoke stops. It’s a good idea to always keep a bucket of each handy, not only for when you’re ready to put out the fire but also in case things get out of hand.

 

Having a backyard BBQ—complete with s’mores and some quality grilled items—can be a lot of fun during a New England summer. Just be careful when it comes to the fire pit! *

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