Fire pits, though they can be a lot of fun, can also be a danger to you and your guests. Accidents involving fire pits can lead to lawsuits. Following these safety rules can help protect you from liability in the event that one of your guests becomes injured as a result of your fire pit.
Check the Weather
Check the weather forecast before starting your fire. Wind speeds in excess of 10 miles per hour can lead the fire to spread to other parts of your yard and to other structures in the area. If the weather forecast indicates that wind speeds will be above 10 miles per hour, cancel the fire pit portion of your party.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Combining heavy alcohol use and a fire pit is unsafe. If you're planning on lighting a fire later in the evening, watch alcohol consumption among your guests. Refuse alcoholic beverages to any guests who seem to be reaching the point of inebriation before lighting the fire. This will help ensure that everyone who participates in the event is capable of keeping themselves safe.
Clear the Area
Sweep and rake the area around your fire pit before lighting the fire. Ideally, the area around the fire pit will be made up of bare dirt, or will be paved with stones. Rake the dirt to rid it of leaves and twigs that can catch fire during the party.
Choose Your Fire Starter Carefully
Starting a fire can be frustrating, but using combustible liquids like gasoline, kerosene and forms of alcohol can be dangerous. In addition, using newspaper as kindling can be dangerous because newspaper can easily blow in the wind. To avoid problems, use chemical fire starters intended for log fires. Fire starters are designed to burn in a controlled way for several minutes before extinguishing on their own.
Be Smart with Your Seating
Seating made of stone, metal and other non-combustible materials is best. Never use upholstered seating around a fire pit. Keep all seating away from the sparks that fly out of the fire. Some logs will pop and make more sparks than others, which means you'll need to adjust the position of the seating at the time of the bonfire.
Following these tips, you may be able to avoid accidents at your upcoming party. However, if there is an accident involving your fire pit, you may need help from a personal injury attorney. If this happens, contact an experienced, reputable lawyer in your area for additional information about how to proceed.