Not only can superior landscape design help your property to stand out on a visual level, but it will also allow your family to enjoy your outdoor living spaces even more than before. In some cases, proper landscaping can even help you stay comfortable. In fact, it's been shown to reduce the need for central air conditioning by up to 50%. But there also are some landscape features that can keep you warm and cozy on a chilly evening. We're talking about firepits and outdoor fire places, of course.
A fantastic outdoor fireplace design can serve as a means of socialization and celebration for a number of occasions. But keep in mind that outdoor firepits can also have hazards if they're used improperly. To get the most you can out of your outdoor fireplace design and safeguard your loved ones from harm, you should follow these five essential safety tips.
- Keep the Area Clear: Before you light the flame, you'll need to do a bit of housework. You'll need to clear the area around your firepit or fireplace to ensure that nothing flammable is nearby. Any combustible materials located within 10 feet of your fireplace can present a safety hazard. That means you'll need to clear away tree branches, debris, and plants. When landscapers install custom fireplaces, they make certain that these structures are a safe distance away from your home. But if you've installed a garden shed yourself after the fact or make a habit of keeping reading materials or logs nearby, you'll want to rethink your strategy before striking a match.
- Always Check the Forecast: Before planning a gathering or promising your kids that you'll roast marshmallows, you'll want to check what the weather's going to be like. Obviously, rainy nights are a no-go, but you should also be careful about windy conditions. Not only can this make it difficult to keep your fire lit, but those gusts can blow embers around and culminate in some dangerous conditions. You should use your outdoor firepit only when conditions are clear and calm. In the end, that type of weather will make for the most enjoyable evenings outside, anyway.
- Use the Right Fuel: When you work with your landscapers or contractors to create your outdoor fireplace design, you'll make a determination about the type of fuel it'll use. Homeowners will typically have to decide between wood-burning pits and gas pits. If you opt for a gas pit, you'll have to use the fuel designated for this type of pit; utilizing a substitute may be unsafe for your family and your property. Wood-stoked pits need to use the right kind of kindling, as well. The wood you use should be properly seasoned and dry. You must avoid using composite woods and plywood, which can emit toxic fumes when burned. You'll also want to steer clear of softer woods like birch and pine, as well. You should never use gasoline or lighter fluid to start the fire, and be sure to cut your logs to the proper length.
- Position Seats Properly: If you incorporated stone seating into your outdoor fireplace design, you won't have to worry too much about positioning. But if you use movable chairs to provide seating for family members and guests, you'll want to keep these chairs far enough away from the flames so that there's no risk of harm. Keep in mind that heavier chairs are often safer because they're less likely to be accidentally moved or to topple over.
- Keep an Extinguisher On-Hand: It's vital to have immediate access to a hose, a water container, a bucket of sand, and/or a fire blanket when using your outdoor fire place. Although you may not ever need to use them, having them on-hand can save lives in the event of an emergency. Don't assume that you'll be able to run even a few feet to fetch these items and utilize them properly. Take the time to bring these items close by before starting your fire to ensure everyone can enjoy the experience safely.
With these tips, you'll be able to get the most out of your outdoor fireplace design and safeguard everyone from harm. For more information on custom firepits, please contact us today.