Many nights are perfect for joining friends and family around a fire. However, fire can create a potentially dangerous scenario without the proper precautions. To ensure you and your family's safety around a fire, we suggest having the correct tools, protective screens and clothing, and proper placement. Following some basic guidelines can result in a safe celebration for all.
Fire pits have become increasingly popular in recent years, and create a perfect gathering spot for your friends. Proper placement of a fire pit is essential for ensuring safety. First, the pit must be placed on a flat, level, fireproof surface. Placing the unit on a stone patio or driveway makes a festive setting, and adding it to a yard or garden creates a more intimate scenario. If the pit is placed in a lawn, be sure to use gravel or sand under and around it to prevent any sparks from spreading to the nearby grass. Further reduce the chance of an uncontrolled fire by creating an even burn. To do this, place an inch of sand on the bottom of the fire bowl, and elevate fire logs on a rack. Cover the fire with a screen to keep flare ups to a minimum, and use thick fireproof gloves when touching the screen.
Many homes are also equipped with wood burning fireplaces, for those who prefer to enjoy a fire indoors rather than out. The same precautions used outdoors should be carried on indoors as well. A clean fireplace and chimney will prevent unwanted buildup, and placing the logs on a log rack helps air flow around the fire, for a more even burn. Ensure that no fabric or other flammable items surround the fireplace and could be ignited by an errant spark. Adding a screen to the front of the fireplace will help prevent sparks from jumping from the fire, and will help keep children and pets away from the open flames. Having the correct tools, such as long matches or a candle lighter, will help light the fire with a minimum of contact. Keeping the damper open will prevent the room from filling with smoke. A poker will help arrange the logs when lit, and a small broom and dustpan will aid in cleaning up ash once the fire is out.
Cooking over an open fire can often bring together family and friends. Using the proper equipment helps create healthy, hearty meals. When cooking over a flame or coals, first check that the chosen vessel is food safe. If cast iron is used, ensure it has been seasoned for a better finish to the dish. Check for forks and pans with long handles, to keep you a safe distance from the heat, and use gloves if the handle is not insulated. Be sure to allow the food to cool prior to eating it, preventing burns to the mouth. For those who find their s'mores lacking, convenient campfire cooking guides can be a boon to novice and expert alike.
Fire can offer a warm spot during a chilly night, create a centerpiece for a party, or be a gathering spot for a quiet family night. However, before planning any activities around fire, you will need to ensure that you have the proper tools. A charged fire extinguisher, heatproof gloves, long matches, and other protective clothing are essential. Indoors, make sure you have several smoke detectors in the house, and that they have fresh, working batteries. BestNest has a large selection of fire pits, fireplace screens, log racks, and other accessories for all your fire safety needs.