It can be a lot of fun to sit outside in your backyard on a nice and cozy evening. Many people love to have fires outside so that they can relax and spend the evening chatting with their friends.
You might be considering getting a fire pit that you can put in your backyard, but it’s important to try to do things as safely as possible. As fun as fire pits can be, you’re also aware that fire has the potential to be quite dangerous.
If you’re going to have to place your fire pit on the grass, you might be wondering whether it is even safe to do so. Read on to learn about fire pits, whether they can be put on grass, and many safety tips that will allow you to enjoy the good times ahead.
You Can Have a Fire Pit on the Grass
You definitely can have a fire pit on the grass, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t somewhat dangerous. Ideally, you’re going to want to take some precautions to ensure that you’re doing things as safely as you can.
If you aren’t careful, your grass could easily wind up getting scorched by the fire. There are also different types of fire pits, and using some of them might be more dangerous than others.
For instance, you can buy portable backyard fire pits that are elevated off of the ground pretty well. These are easy to use, and it should be simple to take some safety precautions so that you can have a good experience.
There are also other types of fire pits such as stone masonry fire pits. You can even choose to build these types of fire pits yourself by using blocks, and they can be quite safe depending on how high you made them.
Essentially, the lower to the ground your fire pit is the more dangerous it’s going to be. You don’t want your fire pit to be too low because that is going to make it more likely that cinders could catch some of your nearby grass on fire.
This is why many people try to eliminate the grass in the area before they even set a fire pit up. You don’t necessarily have to do this, but it can be beneficial to have an area around the fire pit that is just dirt or sand.
Before you move forward, it’s probably going to be a good idea to think about your yard and the type of fire pit that would work best for you. You’ll also need to consider some other factors such as the rules in your area.
Is it Legal to Have a Fire Pit on the Grass?
Those who are wondering whether it is legal to have a fire pit on the grass should know that it is in many areas. However, this isn’t a question that can be answered easily because it depends specifically on where you happen to be living.
Your specific city and county could have rules about fire pits and having fires that you will need to pay attention to. Some places might require special permits so that you can have a fire pit, and others might have strict rules that you will need to follow to be on the right side of the law.
It’s always going to be best for you to look into the laws in your area before you buy a fire pit or try to build one. It would be a shame to buy one and then find out that it isn’t legal in your area or that you need special permission.
One reason why certain places have to be so careful about fires and fire pits is that wildfires have become such an issue. You’ve probably seen the devastation that wildfires have caused in the world over the past several years, and certain places are so dry that it’s very easy to spark a fire by making a few bad choices.
This is another reason why you need to be very safe when using a fire pit whether it’s legal in your area or not. It’s always going to be best to be cautious, and you need to have a healthy respect for the fire so that you make good decisions.
It’s likely legal to have a fire pit in your area, but you can check with the proper authorities to see for sure. This will remove all doubt, and you’ll also be able to get advice about any specific guidelines that are in place.
Keep Your Fire Pit Away From Structures
Doing things safely is of the utmost importance when you’re using a fire pit, and this is why you need to consider where you’re placing it. Whether you’re building a fire pit that is going to be at a fixed location or if you’re using a portable fire pit, it’s crucial to keep it far away from your home.
Ideally, you should position the fire pit around 25 feet away from any structures on your property. This means keeping the fire pit away from your house, garage, barn, shed, or any other little structures that you might have.
If you keep the fire pit far enough away from structures, you’ll reduce the risk of catching any of them on fire. If some of your grass does catch fire, you’ll likely have time to be able to put out the fire with a hose before it can spread too far.
Those who have smaller backyard areas might not be able to use fire pits as safely. If you have a very small yard that will cause you to have to place a fire pit within 20 feet of your home, it’s probably not worth the risk.
Consider Trimming Tree Branches
Tree branches can actually present a bigger danger than you might realize. It seems obvious that you would want to keep tree branches away from your fire pit, but many people underestimate how high flames can go.
Some embers might shoot up a little higher than you would think, and this could catch low-hanging tree branches on fire if you are not careful. For safety purposes, you should try to ensure that tree branches are kept about 15 feet away from your fire pit.
You should be able to trim your tree branches so that they will be less of a problem for you in the future. If you get too relaxed about keeping up with the trimming, it could turn into an issue, but it’ll be fairly easy to tell when your tree branches are too low.
Positioning your fire pit in a safe spot might even prevent you from having to worry about tree branches so much. It just depends on your yard size, whether you have a lot of trees in your yard, and how high up the branches of your trees happen to be.
Your Fire Pit Needs a Level Spot
One of the worst things that could possibly happen while using a fire pit would be to have it tip over. This is mostly going to be an issue when you’re using portable fire pits, but all fire pits are going to need to be placed on level spots.
You shouldn’t place a fire pit on top of a part of your yard that is very uneven. Some people have yards that are quite hilly, and this could present you with huge problems if you’re trying to find a place for a fire pit.
It might be necessary to try to alter the terrain of your yard just a bit so that you can place a fire pit on level ground. Try to flatten the ground out, and you should be able to add and take away soil as necessary.
Once you have a spot that is flat enough for you to feel confident, you’ll be able to place your fire pit. This will make it much less likely that it will tip over, and you won’t have to worry about accidentally catching things on fire quite so much.
Create a Barrier
Creating a barrier between the fire pit and the rest of your lawn is probably in your best interest. This can make a sort of stopping point so that if things do catch on fire, it won’t likely go past the barrier.
This is usually done using some type of brick or stone blocks, and you could easily buy some cinder blocks from a nearby hardware store. You can create a barrier around the fire pit so that it will keep it separated from the rest of the lawn.
Making a good barrier isn’t hard, but you’re probably going to want to go between 6 and 12 inches deep. Most people will make either circular barriers or square barriers, and either style should work out just fine.
If you’re using a portable fire pit, you should try to make it so that the legs of the fire pit are touching the barrier that you created. The barrier will help to lock things in place, and it should make it so that things won’t tip over.
Some people go a step further than this and create a second barrier, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to go that far. There’s nothing wrong with being overly safe, though, and it’s commendable to want to avoid fire issues.
Mist the Nearby Grass with Water
Another thing that you can do to help make things safer is to go ahead and mist the grass that is near the fire pit before you start a fire. You can get some type of spray bottle or use a hose attachment to give your lawn a light misting before you get the fire underway.
The reason for doing this is that it will help to keep your lawn moist, and it should make it less likely that the grass will catch on fire. When your lawn is very dry, it’s going to catch on fire much easier, and this is going to be something that you want to avoid.
It doesn’t take much time at all to mist your lawn with your hose, and most people will have a convenient attachment that will make doing that easy. You might be wondering whether it would be better to just water the lawn thoroughly before you have a fire, but this might not be ideal.
Watering the lawn too much could make things sort of slippery in the area, and this could lead to accidents. You don’t want anyone to trip near the fire and cause things to spill over, and it’s also important that no one gets hurt.
A light misting should be enough to do the trick, and you don’t need to go overboard with the water. You’ll be able to get your lawn moist without making it super slick.
Don’t Leave the Fire Unattended
Never leave your fire pit unattended because this could lead to disastrous results. You want to be able to react if something happens with the fire, and if you aren’t there to make good choices, a fire could spread.
It’s also best to stay nearby the fire pit, and you should keep a hose nearby as well so that you can douse the fire if necessary. Just be smart about things and you should be fine.
Dispose of Ashes Properly
Disposing of ashes properly is also going to be important when you’re trying to do things safely. You should transfer the ashes to a metal container to dispose of them once the fire is out.
Leaving ashes around isn’t a good idea because there might be materials that could catch on fire under the right circumstances. Just wait around for the embers to completely cool so that you can properly dispose of the ashes.
If you would like to try re-using your ashes instead, see my article on 8 Great Uses for the Ashes From Your Fire Pit.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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