Consumer Reports: Staying warm and safe with fire pits

Posted at 10:28 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-23 11:28:08-04

(WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — With so many people staying close to home and socially distancing, it’s no wonder that online searches for fire pits have more than doubled over previous years. If you're thinking of buying a fire pit, there are some things you'll want to consider first.

Consumer Reports wants to make sure you know what to do to keep your outdoor fires safe.

  1. Pick a good spot - avoid bushes and trees, railing, fencing, awnings, clotheslines, and electrical wires, which are vulnerable to sparks and extreme heat.
  2. Contain sparks - Always place a spark screen on top of the pit once you’ve built the fire.
  3. Kill embers - You want a hose nearby to put out your fire – not a bucket of water unless you're just too far away from a hose and there’s no alternative.

The problem with a bucket is that if you dump water on a wood-burning fire, you'll get a hard crust on top but underneath the hot coals will continue to burn. You never want to leave anything still burning or smoldering because then you run the risk that it'll reignite.

Also avoid the softest woods like cedar or pine, which tend to smoke and spark.

Read more tips here.