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Fire pit safety
new re fire pit
Courtesy photo Fire pits make a nice feature and a great way to utilize your backyard on cool evenings or just a relaxing time outside.

With spring finally here, many people will be enjoying the outdoors barbecuing and enjoying the cool evenings next to a fire pit.
Even though these pits make a exciting feature in ones backyard, there are some things people should be aware of to make sure not only their family is safe but their neighborhood as well.
“We want to remind everyone to be safe and have fun when using your fire pit,” Fire Chief Michael Napolitano said. “If your planning on building an outdoor fire pit, contact the fire department for a safety inspection of your project.”
The different types of fire pits include: Below ground pits, freestanding fireplaces, chimneys and all portable devices intended to contain and control a outdoor fire.
“What we recommend is a fire pit with a screen on top and one that contains the fire with in the pit,” Napolitano said.
The Great Bend fire Department also recommends to have a fire extinguisher near by or a water source in case of an emergency.
They also say not to use the fire pit during windy conditions and there is no burning during a Barton County Burn Ban.
All open fires need to be attended at all times, only natural wood or commercial logs maybe burned. It is best to use hard wood that does not create a lot of embers.
The fire pit is not to be used to burn trash , rubbish, leaves or combustible waste materials.
For more information about fire pits contact the GBFD at 620-793-4141

Here are some tips from the Kansas Fire Marshall.

Positioning your fire pit:
Whether you are using a portable fire pit or planning to install a permanent one, positioning is key to safety:
• Make sure the fire pit is, at minimum, 10 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard, 25 feet is preferable.
• Do not position a fire pit under a covered porch or low hanging tree branches.
• Always place a fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as patio blocks or concrete.
• Do not put a fire pit on a wooden deck or directly on grass.

Preparing your fire pit:
• Clear all flammable materials away from your fire pit before using it. Five feet is a good distance. This “break” in vegetation will help prevent an escaped fire from spreading.
• Piling dirt or rocks around the pit will also help prevent any fire on the ground from escaping.
• The fire pit should be at least 6 inches deep at the center and 2 feet across, to help keep the embers and flames contained.

Lighting your fire pit:
• Always check wind direction before you light a fire and remove anything flammable downwind of the pit.
• If it is too windy, do not light your fire pit.
• Do not use lighter fluid to light a fire pit; instead, a commercial fire starter stick with kindling on top is ideal.
• Do not use any flammable fluids to light or relight fires.