How to Put Out a Fire Pit Safely and Effectively
An outdoor fire pit adds style and warmth to any outdoor hangout, enabling your yard or patio to be a hospitable gathering spot throughout the year despite fluctuating temperatures. It also offers an accessible cooking fire that can be used for anything from grilling steaks to toasting marshmallows on a stick. This versatility however comes with risks that require certain precautions to prevent unmanageable fires, injuries, destruction of property, or worse from turning your relaxing evening into a nightmare.
Having a fire safety plan and knowing how to put out a fire pit safely and effectively is important in mitigating this risk. It is a failsafe strategy that will help cover all your bases and prevent accidents. It also ensures that you can handle the situation in case of an accident. This article explores safe and effective ways of how to put out a fire pit fire and how these methods can be implemented. It will empower you to prevent fire pit accidents and design an elaborate response plan for them.
Safe and Effective Ways to Put Out a Fire Pit
Letting It Burn Down Completely on its Own
Executing this plan requires prior planning. Stop adding fuel to the fire as you approach the time you scheduled to leave the venue and let it burn down naturally. The exact time to stop adding fuel is dependent on how fast the fuel is getting consumed. Certain variables like wind and density of the wood will make fuel consumption rate variable as well.
The fire pit will continue emitting warmth long after the logs turn to ash, which gives you an allowance for people still hesitant to leave; you don’t need to keep it roaring to enjoy the heat.
Clear the area surrounding the fire pit of all flammable materials as the wind might lead the flames or ejected sparks to alternate fuel sources, even as you are starving it of fuel. You can wet the surfaces around the fire pit to further reduce the chances of this occurrence.
This is the most effortless way to put out any fire pit, but you are not guaranteed to always have enough time on your hands to wait for it to completely burn down. Nonetheless, it makes it much easier to put out the fire, or what is left of it as you leave, and has the least effect on your firepit of all the methods you will use to douse the fire. We recommend that you use this technique first before resorting to any of the rest.
Douse the Fire with Water
This is an easy and common way to choke flames, effectively putting out the fire pit. It is done by soaking the burning ambers until all the flames are extinguished. A bucket is not as effective as a garden hose with a multi-pattern nozzle is better for dousing the flame using water.
If you’ll be using a bucket, ensure you hold it several feet above the fire. Standing too close when pouring water on a flame exposes you to the steam being emitted as the cool water gets heated by the hot embers. The direct stream of water from a bucket can also spread sparks outside the fire pit. These inconveniences make us want to seek alternative means of applying water to put out fire pits. Spraying is more effective than pouring a direct stream of water when it comes to fire pit safety. The spraying hose is also lighter and offers an unlimited supply of water to fight a fire.
Any embers that are still ignitable will produce sizzling sounds when hit by water, pour water until they have been silenced completely. Cover all the ashes with water, not only the red bits. Stir the soaked contents with a shovel or stick to ensure it is all drenched and cooled.
This FANHAO handheld metal hose nozzle easily connects to your standard garden hose and its 360˚ rotating design offers four water modes. You can adjust the spraying pattern to get the maximum efficiency dousing flames.
Water is not ideal if your pit is made of metal. The sudden temperature changes can easily deform metal due to drastic expansion and contraction fast-tracking deterioration. This will wear out your fire pit and reduce its lifespan significantly. You may even find out this method violates the warranty. There are better ways to put out fires on metal fire pits than water if you are interested in maintaining their structural integrity.
Using Sand and Dirt
This is one of the ways you can put out a fire without water. You need a shovel to throw sand or dust on the coals once the fire is burned down to just a few embers. Use the same shovel or a stick to stir the cinders, sand, and dirt together, mixing them until you are confident the fire is completely out.
Besides taking care of the metal pit, this option also comes in handy when you don’t have a garden hose or it is too short to reach your backyard fire pit and the fire pit can’t be moved.
This HD folding survival shovel from Rhino USA with a compact folding design is a multifunctional garden tool that can be used for digging dirt, throwing it on the hot embers, and mixing it up. It also has a saw to cut kindling and a fire starter so it can also be used to light the fire.
Using a Snuffer to Put Out a Fire Pit
A snuffer goes on top of the fire pit like a lid, cutting off the oxygen flow and choking the fire. Some fire pits come with a snuffer, but you can always get one for your fire pit if you don’t already have one. To successfully do this you need to have the exact dimensions of the fire pit’s opening so that your lid fits nicely and seals all possible entry paths for air.
It is excellent for a wood burning fire pit as they often have enclosed burning areas in the form of a fire bowl or hardscaped fire pits. It doesn’t work if the fire pit has a cutout design because air will still find avenues into the pit to fuel the fire.
Putting Out a Gas Fire Pit
Fire in a natural gas fire pit is easiest to put out; you simply turn it off. Just ensure that any decorative ornaments around the burner are cool before you cover your gas fire pit with a lid, or you might end up damaging the lid or the ornaments.
Ensuring The Fire Pit Is Completely Put Out
A significant number of fire-related injuries happen after the fire is thought to be put out.
The tiniest ember can cause a massive backyard fire, especially when the conditions are dry. Check your surroundings to ensure there are no ashes or dry wood pieces that fell or were blown away. Look out for the smallest sparks.
Let the ashes cool completely before emptying the fire pit and dispose of the debris using a non-flammable container. Hold your hand above the ashes without touching them and feel for any residual heat. Moving the ashes while they’re still hot is risky because you might spark a secondary fire if any of them drop on the lawn and come into contact with possible fuel sources like dry grass, firewood, or pine needles. You might also get burned from touching hot embers.
Use a shovel or stick to spread out the remaining hot logs or coals. This speeds up the process of putting out the fire because when they are not touching, they are unable to hold on to the heat which lessens the chances of the fire reigniting. Pay special attention to large chunks of wood or coal as sometimes they seem cool on the outside but are harboring a lot of heat in the center.
Always keep a fire extinguisher, a garden hose, or a bucket of water or sand and a shovel close by to douse the fire in case it gets out of hand. It doesn’t hurt to have all of these on standby to increase your options. Assemble them in a dedicated fire kit close to your fire pit for easy access whenever they are required.
If you can’t put out the fire quickly or you feel it is getting out of control, call 9-1-1 or the nearest emergency services in your area.