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How to Put Out a Fire Pit in 5 Simple Steps

how to put out a fire pit
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / TheOtherKev

With long summer nights and backyard fire season ahead, it's important to know how to put out a fire pit properly. We'll show you how using simple steps.

Fire pits make a great addition to nearly any backyard, but you do need to be careful when using them. Provided you take the necessary steps to ensure the fire is properly put out, you can enjoy your fire pit without worrying about setting your backyard on fire. It’s also worth looking up local guidelines and restrictions when it comes to residential fire pits, as rules and regulations vary by region.  

For those that are lucky enough to have a fire pit in their backyard, or for those enjoying a campfire while camping, it’s important to take the necessary steps to extinguish it properly. When done incorrectly, it increases the risk of wildfires, which puts people, wildlife, and entire ecosystems at risk. Learn how to put out a fire pit using the following steps.

How to Put Out a Fire Pit: Step-by-Step

Make sure you put out your fire pit to avoid unnecessary wildfires.
Make sure you put out your fire pit to avoid unnecessary wildfires.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / R.D. Smith )

There are three common materials you can use to help put out a fire pit properly.

  • Water is the best way to put out a fire. You should always have a bucket of water on hand when you have a fire going in case it gets out of hand. 
  • Dirt can be helpful as a secondary material, especially if you run out of water. Just be sure to use moist dirt, often found an inch or two below the topsoil layer. 
  • Sand helps to smother the fire and limit the embers’ exposure to oxygen. 

Here’s how to put out a fire pit:

  1. Let The Wood Burn Completely: It’s easier to ensure that your fire pit is completely put out when you’re only dealing with ash. Therefore, it’s best to let the logs burn down completely before trying to put the fire out. 
  2. Spread Out The Coals: Use a shovel to spread out the coals as much as possible. This helps them cool down faster. 
  3. Douse Your Fire: The average backyard fire needs 2 buckets of water to put out. Pour the water slowly from a good height to ensure even distribution – just be sure to stand out of the way of the rising steam. If using sand or dirt, only spread a thin layer, otherwise, you can end up insulating the embers.  
  4. Stir With a Shovel: Stir the ashes and water together to ensure that everything gets a good soaking. Continue to add more water or dirt until the fire pit is cooled.  
  5. Double-Check Everything: When it comes to fire, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Double-check your pit to see if there is any heat still coming off it, and also check the surrounding areas to make sure none of the sparks could start a fire on dried grass. 

Fire Safety Tips

Be sure to use only local firewood when making your own fire.
Be sure to use only local firewood when making your own fire.
(Foto: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash / david lindahl )

Fire is a dangerous thing, and is not to be played with. When it comes to building a fire, keep the following things in mind: 

  • Use a match to light your fire and extinguish it completely or throw it in the fire to burn. Avoid using lighter fluid, gas, kerosene, or other flammable liquids to start a fire. 
  • Use local firewood only. Tree-killing insects and diseases can live on firewood, which you inadvertently transport when you take them to a new forest. 
  • Pay attention to the wind. A strong gust of wind can easily end up spreading your fire if you’re not careful. 
  • Never leave your fire pit unattended while there is a fire. Things can change quickly, and you can easily be caught off-guard if you aren’t paying close attention to your fire. 

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