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9 Fire Pit Safety Tips With Rules & Regulations

by Fireplace Fact

Have you ever decided to add an outdoor fire pit to your backyard? If yes, no doubt, you are determined to ramp up the visual appeal, value of your property and not but least, sociability.

In this article we are going to share with you 9 safety issues of fire pit along with rules & regulations of these appliances.

Safety Of Fire Pits

For gathering with friends and family, fire pits can be great. However, the use of these appliances does need a significant awareness of safety. Initially, while using your fire pit, you should check with your insurance company, as disclosure of your fire pit may be a requirement of your policy.

Make sure to check the direction of the wind, before lighting the fire. Wearing loose clothing around the fire should be avoided. A great example is a nylon, which could easily catch fire. Softwoods such as pine and cedar, they tend to throw sparks and pop.

To cut down the risk factor of injury and the spread of fire, you should avoid these woods. Besides, it is also essential to know the process to dispose of ashes and extinguish your fire safely as well.

The safety of fire is the primary concern for all levels of government. All are mainly in agreement that anyone enjoying the backyard fire should pay close attention to the following tips:

1. Check The Condition Of The Wind:

Check The Condition Of The Wind

Check the local weather forecast before you start up a blaze in your fire pit. On unusual windy days, do not use your fire pit. The wind could blow sparks to the surrounding structures or brush, potentially starting a fire. Before you start your fire, make sure to check the direction of the wind.

To keep clear of the smoke, encourage your guests to sit on the pit’s upwind side. In case you have a portable fire pit before you light the fire, make sure to move it to a natural windbreak place.

2. Build A Fire Always In The Open:

Build A Fire Always In The Open

Do not ever light your fire pit if it is underneath the trees or overhang of a building. Always try to keep the pit clear of yard waste and other flammable materials around the pit area. Wayward sparks might blow out of the fire and ignite nearby structures like dry wood, leaves, or other debris, resulting in a fire emergency.

3. Never Burn Construction Lumber

Never Burn Construction Lumber

To fuel up your fire, go ahead and use the branches that you sawed off after last winter storm from a damaged oak tree or buy logs and seasoned hardwood kindling. You can use pine-like softwood, but remember, they burn less efficiently and can produce more smoke and sparks than harder woods.

This might lead to a less satisfying evening by the fire. You should never burn construction materials like pressure-treated boards and posts, MDF, plywood, or chemically treated wood pallets. 

When construction lumbers are burned, as they are made with chemical resins, adhesives, and other substances, they release toxic fumes- obviously, that is not what you want to inhale (or eating) with your roasted marshmallows!

4. Be Ready To Blow Out The Flame

Fire can create unification and magic. It fascinates people with its light and warmth and inspires outdoor gatherings with romance and joy. But it can be a very unpredictable and destructive force. 

If you set your fire pit in a safe location considering the direction and speed of the wind into account, there is a lesser chance to encounter any serious problems. Always try to keep water and shovel near your hand, just in case. In an emergency, you can use the shovel to flat the flame by throwing dirt on them or use the water to extinguish the fire.

You can also purchase a fire blanket, which will help you level the blaze in or outside the fire pit, or one of your guests (worst-case scenario). Make sure to teach your children to “stop, drop and roll” if their clothes catch fire from these types of events. Yes, you might not need any of these safety measures, but who knows? Without them, a fun evening could end up in tragedy.

5. Maintain The Chair Far From The Fire

Maintain The Chair Far From The Fire

Everybody knows to be cautious around a fire pit, chimney, or a campfire, but in an s’mores session heat, people may sit a little too close to the flames, and that is when clothes, hair, or other materials can catch fire. Try to keep the chairs at a safe distance from the fire pit.

Make sure your hair is tied back, and your sleeves are rolled up when you are roasting food or tending a fire over an open flame. If your appliance has a screen, use it.

6. Do Not Ever Leave The Fire On Its Own

Do Not Ever Leave The Fire On Its Own

Do not leave the fire unattended, even it has died down and remains with only glowing embers – not even try for a bathroom break or to dash into the house. If it is an emergency, deputize a responsible person to stay near the fire or leave the scene to wipe out the fire completely. Tiny flames might seem not harmful.

They are still a probable threat to your safety. Above all, some of the most severe wildfires in U.S history, these almost-extinguished fires were responsible. Before you call it a night, pour water all overturn logs and live embers to make sure all sides of the wood have stopped burning.

7. Be Aware While Drinking

Alcohol and fire do not mix. Alcohol is not only flammable but over drinking in alcohol harms cooperation, reflexes, a judgment that might lead to injuries to anyone gathered around the perimeter of a fire.

Control yourself while you or your guests are going to drink by an open fire. Keep a safe distance from the flames, in case of any alcohol-induced misshape, be always ready to splash the fire.

8. Notice The No-Burn Alert

Notice The No Burn Alert

When both weather and high emissions combine to increase dust pollution to an unhealthy level, to protect local air quality, some towns issue no-burn alerts, subordination with a no-burn order leaves your community’s health at risk a result in fines. 

So check to see if there is a no-burn re-commendatory in effect.

9. Safely Store The Fire Woods

To keep a fire going on an entire evening, you will need to carry on feeding it fuel. Be aware of keeping the firewood at a secure distance from the fire pit. You don’t want the fire to jump and feed itself instead feed the fire at your own pace.

Rules And Regulation

Rules For The Fire Container

According to the local ordinances your fire container needs to be in overall good condition and the design should be of materials that won’t burn. Which actually suggests you have plenty of freedom for design because it includes everything from a sand base with a ring of rocks to a highly glossy copper bowl set on stainless steel legs.

The thing is that the local fire department doesn’t want to see are tree roots in the sand base, a overhanging vegetation or a wooden frame holding that copper bowl.

The Fuel

If your pit is a pre-made appliance then you should use the fuel and don’t try or force it to burn with improper fuels. If your fire pit is just a place to burn stuff rather than an appliance then you should use only dry firewood. Also it is strictly prohibited to burn yard waste or trash in a pit. Lastly, No wood stack should exceed 2 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter.


The outdoor fire pit must be located 15 feet away from things that are flammable. Which includes wood decks, trees (large or small), retaining wall, overhanging branches or anything else that could catch fire.

So this means that if you desire to surround your seating that surround the rooms will either have to be more than 15 feet away from the fire itself or it should be made of non-flammable materials such as concrete, plastic, stainless steel or stone.

While locating the fire pit keep in mind, you should locate the fire pit in a place where any smoke is not likely to bother your neighbors.

Safety Considerations

Make sure the fire is at least 15 feet away from any flammable items. It is a requirement from the local ordinances that there must be someone who will be on hand at all times who is completely experienced in extinguishing the fire if the situation demands.

That means there must be an adult person all the time or a fire extinguisher or  a bucket of water or a connected hose which is within arm’s reach as well. The local authorities are enforcers about these things. So avoiding the rules could result in an order to discard your pit.

Burning Bans

If the weather is too windy in Rapid City, hot or dry, it is likely there will be a burning ban in place and local officials are on the prowl looking for violators. Things that are banned for burning in this area covers outdoor fireplaces, fire pits and relaxational fires in parks.

One thing you should keep in mind that you are going to be responsible personally for any kinds of damage that may result from the fire in your yard.

If the fire extends or spreads and needs the involvement of the fire department, you may also be held responsible for any firefighting costs that out-turns. To know more, check with the local fire station.


According to the law of Unified Fire Authority, there are no bindings for residents to have a fire pit, but the area of the fuel must be equal to or smaller than 2 feet in height and 3 feet in diameter. Point to remember, this is only mentioning the fuel area.

If you bought or built a deluxe fire feature with a wide stone ring or any other additions, as long as the fuel area is within these measurements, don’t write it off thinking too large. 


For the distance at which the outdoor fire pits will be kept from home or inflammable materials, the rules rely on the kind of features you have. There is a requirement of minimum clearance of 10 feet for natural gas fire pits.  For a portable pit or barbecue the distance should be 15 feet away from any fabric or burnable materials.

Though these are the official laws for a backyard fire pit, we would suggest you to maintain as much distance between the surroundings and the fire as possible.


One of the most important parts is to observe the fire at all times, till it is completely blown out. You must not leave nimble fire features neglected for any reason, not for any supplement of time. Make sure to thoroughly extinguish the flames until the coals are no longer red before leaving the fire pit.


In this article we have tried to cover all the important rules and regulations and safety about fire pits. We hope this article will be very helpful for you, specially if you are looking to set up a fire pit in your backyard.

If you have any further query, please make sure to leave a comment below. Our expert team is always there to help you.

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