As a passionate griller and bonfire fan, it is normal to always look for ways to enhance your family’s outdoor fun.
Now, if you have a newly built garden cabin addition, it is natural for your mind to race with plans for sizzling summer BBQs and cozy fire pit gatherings right outside your new outdoor hangout. However, you need to learn about safely managing open flames near your BBQ or Fire Pit before jumping into roasting.
Here is how you can become fire safety conscious, when you have a BBQ or Fire Pit near your garden
Understanding the Risks of Open Flames in Gardens
It is normal to be naive about fire safety in the beginning. But after some research, it is important to note that BBQs and fire pits pose serious fire risks without precautions. The National Fire Protection Association compares pits to grills when it comes to hazard levels. All those embers and sparks can easily ignite debris or plants and spread flames to your garden cabin or home if you’re not diligent. Therefore, before lighting up that BBQ or fire pit, it’s crucial to understand and mitigate these risks.
Choosing the Safest Setup Location
One of the fundamental steps before lighting your BBQ or fire pit is deciding the safest place for its setup. Here are some key tips:
- Position at least 15 feet away from your home, garden cabin or other structures.
- Ensure the surface is flat and level.
- Uneven ground caused our fire pit to wobble precariously at first.
- Keep clear of overhanging trees or shrubs.
- One spark could ignite the whole thing!
- Use a protective mat if placing directly on grass or dirt.
- The heat can damage the lawn.
Exercising Caution During Operation
- Operational safety is as crucial as the setup:
- Never leave a lit fire unattended – not even for a bathroom break!
- Keep kids and pets safely away.
- Besides the fire risk, pets, especially dogs and cats, may be attracted to the food, leading to accidents
- For charcoal, use just a thin 2-3 inch layer of briquettes.
- Massive piles are serious hazards!
- Carefully contain sparks and embers, especially on windy days when they can spread quickly.
Developing an Emergency Plan
Despite precautions, fires can still happen, so preparation is key:
- Always keep a charged hose or buckets of water nearby in case flames spread.
- Invest in a fire extinguisher and ensure everyone in the household knows how to use it.
- Fully stock a first aid kit in case of minor burns or injuries.
Proper Shut Down Is Crucial
After enjoying the warm ambiance of your fire pit or the delicious delights of your BBQ, ensure they are shut down safely:
- Fully extinguish fire pit embers with sand/water before leaving the area.
- Let BBQ coals cool completely before dumping – causes fewer flare ups.
- Triple check for stray sparks that could re-ignite after you’re gone.
- Check the surrounding for any stray embers or signs of smouldering.
Legal and Community Considerations
- Safety extends beyond just your home.
- Follow all local ordinances regarding recreational fires.
- Avoid directing smoke into neighbors’ yards.
- Contain noise levels later at night out of courtesy for sleeping households.
Having a BBQ or fire pit near your garden cabin can really enhance your outdoor experience, but it comes with the responsibility of ensuring safety for yourself, your loved ones and your property.