Firepit Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Firepit Dangers and How to Avoid Them

Another safety precaution is the use of a firepit screen.  Click on this link for details concerning Belgard and Pavestone firepits  available at J & J Materials that can be purchased with firepit screens, for an additional cost.

Common sense reminders on water, flames

A Central Massachusetts woman has died after a tragic incident involving a fire pit. It happened in Northampton over the weekend. While her death is still under investigation, police say it’s more than likely just a tragic accident.

Still, it’s necessary to know the simple steps to prevent such fire pit tragedies in your own backyard.

Summertime brings backyard parties and fire pits, but if you’re not paying attention around the fire, things can quickly get out of control. If you’ve got blankets or loose clothing near your fire pit, you’ve got a potential disaster.

Cumberland Hill Fire Chief Ken Finlay demonstrated Wednesday afternoon, showing how fast clothing that just comes near the open flames goes up quick: “[In] just a couple of seconds, you can see how this fire comes up, and it’s going up your sleeve.

“This is where people are getting in trouble… They lean over to put the screen over their fire, like they’re supposed to, and then their clothing comes in contact with the fire.”

Chief Finlay says the department gets at least one call a week during the summer about a fire pit accident — and said it’s hard to believe what some people do.

“They’ll fuel it to get it started. If their wood is wet they’ll put gasoline on it, not realizing it that fuel fumes are all around and they go to light it and they’re enveloped!”

Here are the precautions you should take:

  • Never put your fire pit on a deck, near your home or shed.
  • A fire pit should be 20 feet from any wooden structure.
  • Make sure it’s far away from branches.

When your party is over, it doesn’t mean you can just turn off the lights and leave the fire alone; you’ve got to make sure it’s extinguished completely.

The best way to do that: a bucket of water with a little soap mixed in, says Finlay. The soap allows water to penetrate the wood faster, to put the flames out. Pour carefully, a little at a time. Furthermore, make sure you’re facing away from the steam to avoid getting burned.

Finally, if you have a fire pit going, you should always have a hose turned on within arm’s reach — just in case.

Original story appeared here

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