Want to Learn How to Put Out a Fire Pit?
One of the best ways to wind down after a busy work week is to sit by a roaring campfire while breathing the fresh night air with a drink in hand. Nothing beats being able to relax next to the warmth of a fire pit, toasting marshmallows while sharing stories with your friends or loved ones. It does not matter if you are camping out or just chilling in the comforts of your backyard, lounging by an open fire is thoroughly relaxing.
However, once the festivities of the night ends, you want to make sure that the buoyant, calm feeling is not marred with any accidents or trouble caused by a fire pit left unattended!
Enjoying a fire pit, especially if it’s within the vicinity of your home, is also a responsibility that you should take seriously. It is important that extreme caution and care is taken to prevent fire injuries that can damage not only your home but the surrounding properties as well. This is even more significant if you are camping outdoors in the middle of a forest where you are surrounded by easily combustible elements.
It is imperative that you have proper knowledge on how to properly put out a fire pit, different methods of extinguishing fire and of course, know fire safety tips by heart to protect yourself, the people around you as well as your surroundings.
Before we get into the process of how to put out a fire pit, let us go over some fire safety tips that you can easily put in place to minimize any possible accidents from occurring!
FIRE SAFETY TIPS
- Distance, Location and Stability
It is standard procedure to keep your fire pit at least 10 to 15 feet away from structures and residences. However, if you have enough space to go beyond this distance, the better and safer you are from fire related accidents.
Keep your fire pits away from easily combustible materials and surroundings like trees, shrubs, pile of dried leaves, wooden decks and patio roofs. Check the manuals on your portable fire pits if a fire mat is needed to be placed under it to prevent your grass or wooden deck from burning.
Ensure that when you are using a free-standing fire pit or even a grill, you are placing it over a stable and secure surface. Check if the surface is uneven or if your fire pit’s legs are wobbly so that there will be no accidental tipping over which will definitely cause embers to scatter and ignite anything flammable nearby.
- Check Your Fuel and Use Spark Screen
It is easier to start a fire with the help of some flammable liquids like lighter fluid, kerosene or gasoline but thread with caution because your fire might get out of control and jeopardize nearby structures or worse, people! Also, don’t overload your fire with wood since it might cause the fire to flare up uncontrollably.
Always use a spark screen to keep any sparks or burning ember from flying off. It also acts as a barrier that protects your pets, kids and other people from getting too close to the fire. If your fire pit does not come with its own spark screen, make sure to purchase one!
- Proper Equipment and Handling
Never try to handle your fire pit with bare hands. Always use a poker, log grabber or other tools when tending to fire wood or shifting the embers in your fire pit. Remember to let your fire pit cool down before attempting to move or clean it and it is best to wear protective heat-resistant gloves.
Always keep a fire extinguisher nearby as well as a first aid kit. In case the fire gets out of hand or escapes, you can easily douse it with the extinguisher to prevent further damage. In case of burns, a first aid kit will help treat minor mishaps but don’t forget to call 911 or go to the hospital for serious burns.
Now that you have read our quick and easy fire safety tips, you are ready to go into learning the process of putting out a fire pit!
Remember that there are 2 types of fire pits that you can use: wood burning and liquified petroleum gas type.
It is easier to put out a gas burning fire pit since its flames are connected to a gas line which you can easily cut off with a flick of a switch. Just make sure that the valves are securely shut off and that there is no flickering flame hovering over the glass/lava rocks before you head off to bed. Also, if your gas fire pit turns off using a key, keep this close to you at all times and do not misplace it!
Dealing with a wood burning fire pit is an entirely different process altogether. Fires do not magically just snuff off with a switch of a button. Also, just because there is no trace of fire visible, it does not mean that the fire pit is entirely extinguished. Keep in mind that the burning embers and residue can cause as much burn as an actual live fire.
Steps to Successfully and Safely Put Out a Fire Pit
- Stop Adding Fuel and Let the Fire Die Down
In order to properly put out a fire, you have to let it die down therefore, think ahead and stop adding fuel to your fire pit at least an hour or so before you plan to extinguish. Move your Firestarter or commercial fire logs to the side (not outside your fire pit) away from the other logs and cover it wish ash to douse it and stop it from burning. Spread out each log in the fire pit, away from other logs so that they will burn out faster.
Allow the fire to burn down on its own because it will help make extinguishing the fire faster since it reduces the flames. Clear away ash with a shovel or a stick, again, never with your bare hands! Don’t underestimate the embers because a piece of wood, although no longer glowing red, can still be very hot. Wait until most of the embers turn to ash before you move to the next step.
- Douse with Water
You can extinguish the fire pit next with a bucket of water or a garden hose. If you are using a hose, make sure to set the nozzle to spray or shower setting because you don’t want to create sparks with a strong jet of water spurting from the hose. Saturate every piece of ember, ash and area of your fire pit with water to fully douse the heat.
If you are using a bucket, slowly pour the water over the embers making sure that any popping or hissing, sputtering sound is no longer heard. Keep pouring more water until there is no noise and make sure to douse everything even if it is no longer glowing or red.
Don’t forget to stand a good amount of distance while dousing the fire pit with water because the heat from the pit will turn water into steam which can be hot and scalding and will easily cause mishaps and burns.
- Check the Fire Pit and Its Surroundings
After dousing your fire pit with water, grab your poker, a shovel or a stick and try to stir through the remaining ash and embers. What this does is it allows you to check the area closely for any spots that you might have missed with water. It also helps you inspect for steam or hot spots that might need to be soaked some more.
Before you leave your fire pit, ensure that everything has cooled off. There should be no more residual heat coming off from your in-ground fire pit or if you are using a free-standing fire pit, it should be cool to touch. Do not hurry through this process because you might miss a hot spot or perhaps fail to see a hot ember.
Once you are done thoroughly inspecting the inside of your fire pit, move on to inspect the area outside of it in case any debris had escaped or accidently got flung out. Meticulously comb through the area around the pit for ash or embers that might need to be put out.
If you are using an above ground fire pit or fire bowl, make sure to shovel out residual ash once it’s all cooled down so that your fire pit will not rust!
Can You Put Out a Fire Pit Without Water?
Just in case there is no water present within the vicinity of your fire pit or camp fire, there are other ways to extinguish your fire pit:
- Use sand or dirt to put out the fire that has died down. Just scoop dry sand or dirt with your shovel into the pit to put it out. Stir it into the ash to ensure that the embers are completely gone.
- Use a fire extinguisher. Simply follow the instructions that come along with the unit and use it to douse the fire pit.
- Use a snuffer. Fire needs oxygen to continue burning, a snuffer is a metal lid used to cut off the supply airflow into the pit. If your fire pit does not come with a snuffer, it is important that you purchase one. Plus, this snuffer can also act as a protective cover for your fire pits when not in use keeping out debris and outdoor elements from causing damage. If you are using a fire pit table, the lid works best in also adding more space to use for eating or placing pates of food on.
The key to successfully following these fire pit extinguishing steps is patience and thorough inspection. You cannot expect the heat to immediately dissipate just because you’ve doused it with water or its gas line has been shut off. Never assume that the fire pit has cooled off all because you don’t spot a glowing ember or there is no smoke coming out. Allot enough time to plan and check when it comes to putting out your fire pit. Keep in mind the fire safety tips as well, this way, you can keep enjoying its benefits without having to worry about accidents ever!
Hi, I’m Adam and I’m a HUGE fan of Food and Cooking.
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