There are many benefits of installing a fireplace or a fire pit in your backyard. An exterior fireplace in Denver creates a warm ambiance in the yard. It gives you a reason to spend more time outdoors during the winter. Many are designed for grilling during the summer.
But anything that uses fire is always a safety hazard. Improper installation, maintenance or carelessness could lead to fires and injuries. That’s why it’s important to take proper precautions when installing or using fireplaces.
Safety Tips Before Installing Outdoor Fireplace
– Check Local Ordinances
Before installing an outdoor fireplace, you need to ensure that it’s allowed in your area. Many areas have burn bans in place. You also need to check regulations related to their installations and usage.
– Hire Reliable Contractor
Unless you’re an experienced fireplace contractor or handy with tools, it’s best to hire a pro to install an outdoor fireplace in Denver. An experienced contractor understands the fire hazards associated with fireplaces and can take the necessary precautions during installations.
– Choose Firebox Carefully
The type of fireplace you purchase could also affect your backyard’s safety. Some key features to consider when buying a fireplace include the following:
Size: The firebox should have enough space to hold several standard-sized logs.
Weight: A moveable firebox should be lightweight but not easily tippable.
Thickness: The fireplace should be thick enough to prevent hot embers from falling through.
Lid: A lid can prevent ashes from escaping the fire pit.
Fuel Shutoff: A gas fireplace should have an accessible fuel shutoff valve, electrical ignition and good venting.
Vents and Screens: The fireplace should have good smoke venting, screens and mesh protection.
– Ensure Ventilation
Lack of ventilation can be a potential health hazard, especially in enclosed outdoor areas so watch out for this.
– Get Safety Equipment
With the risk of a fire, it’s always wise to have the relevant safety equipment nearby. These may include water buckets, hoses, sand buckets, or fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers are better for fireplaces with ceramic or metal parts because water may damage the ceramic or cause the metal to rust.
– Select Location Wisely
Your backyard fireplace should be at least 10 feet away from structures and flammable materials. Avoid placing the fireplace under a wood cover or tree. If that can’t be avoided, take the necessary precautions to decrease the risk of a fire.
Safety Tips When Using Outdoor Fireplace
– Never Leave Fire Unattended
A moment of carelessness is all that it takes for a fire to spread. You must never leave the fire unattended. If you need to go in for something, ask someone to watch the fireplace.
On that note, you should never let the fire keep burning when you go to sleep. Extinguish the flames before going to bed. Take special care when extinguishing wood fires. Simply pouring water on them may not be enough.
Let the wood fire and embers die out, spread the ashes to let it cool and after it cools, pour some water slowly until no steam rises from the ashes.
– Always Use Fireplace Screen
A fireplace screen can prevent embers or sparks from flying out of the firebox. It will also prevent people from throwing stuff like cigarette butts or packaging into the flames. The screen can reduce the risk of people getting their hands burnt. You should use it, even if your fireplace has a glass door.
– Keep Children And Pets Away
To be more specific, make sure that there’s a distance of three feet or more between the children or pet and the fireplace. A fireplace isn’t safe for them even with a screen on. The screen can get hot and injure whoever touches them. On that note, never leave your child or pet unattended with the fire pit.
– Keep Debris Away
Debris like dead branches, twigs, leaves, etc. poses a fire hazard. You need to clear them from the yard to prevent fires.
– Prune Trees And Shrubs
Low-hanging branches and shrubs can grow too close to the fireplace if not pruned regularly. So prune the trees and shrubs in your yard regularly.
– Check Weather Warnings
You should always check for ongoing weather warnings before using the outdoor fireplace. Bad weather conditions like strong winds or dry conditions can be dangerous.