When operating any outdoor fire, safety is the first consideration
The warmth and attraction of a fire pit or chimenea is truly irresistible. Whether you choose an open hearth design or the traditional belly-base and smokestack, you can be assured of a popular gathering spot. These outdoor fireplaces take the edge off cooler evenings and bring a welcoming ambiance to outdoor gatherings year-round.
Many different types of fire pits, rings, hearths, and chimeneas are on the market today. Cast iron and cast aluminum are the most popular for their stability, longevity, and reduced maintenance. You can also find clay versions, but they truly require greater care and can unexpectedly fall apart with a belly full of burning embers.
Fire rings are also popular, but they may not be allowed in certain populated areas. They're an excellent choice for camping, especially the models with collapsible sides. Chimeneas provide the best containment while mesh encased hearths fall in the mid range for safety.
Regardless of which pit, hearth, or chimenea you choose, it's important to always adhere to specific safety precautions.
-Never allow children or pets to play around an open fire. Do not leave a fire unsupervised for any reason.
-Cast iron, cast aluminum and all other metal type fire pits will remain hot for some time after the embers have died. Clay also requires time to cool.
-Always place on a solid surface, preferably concrete or bricks.
-You can enjoy a fire pit or chimenea on a wood deck, but only if you use a fireproof mat underneath.
-Keep a fire extinguisher handy at all times. For fire rings, a bucket of water is also recommended.
-Situate away from overhanging tree branches or rooflines.
-Purchase spark arresters for chimeneas. They're available both for the smokestack and the base opening.
-Do not leave the site until you're sure the fire is completely extinguished.
-Do not locate a fire pit or chimenea near any object that can absorb heat, such as metal tables, chairs, or railing.
-If at all possible,
provide protection from wind and rain.
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Our House and Garden/C.K. Kennedy. All rights reserved.
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