A new trend we have taken notice of is the outdoor fire pit. As with any new trend, there are going to be some folks who jump on the bandwagon to cash in on the demand. This is where consumers who don’t do their research will get bitten by the impulse buy bug.
All of us have made impulse buys, that’s why there’s candy next to the check out stand after all. One purchase that shouldn’t be an impulse buy is a fire pit, or an outdoor heater for that matter. Careful attention should be paid to the location, installation, and use of anything heat related product.
Fire Pit Safety Tips
We have compiled a few tips to help make your fire pit purchase safe and easy. When in doubt, ask your salesperson for advice and tips on what may be best for your situation.
Consider your audience, meaning those who will use and enjoy it. If you have small children, you may want to opt for dining table height, or even counter height. It may be easy for small children to tell the fire pit is hot when the flame is burning, however they won’t be able to tell when the flame has been extinguished and the glass (or other media) is 500 degrees. Children are attracted to the fire media, especially the glass.
On the opposite side of the age spectrum, you have to take into account your other friends and family that may huddle around your fire pit. Keep in mind those long nights when everyone has had a few adult drinks.
Once you have determined that the fire pit itself won’t pose a risk to your friends and family, then you should start looking at the different types of fire pits and their plumbing.
There are hundreds of fire pit burners on the market today. If you aren’t familiar with the different types of burners or know what to expect from the fire pit you are considering, you might make the wrong purchase. When it comes to fire pits, you have two options: manufactured, and custom made (by a local contractor).
We favor the manufactured units for one simple reason: They are tested as a complete unit and certified as safe by ICC’s PMG (plumbing, mechanical and fuel gas) program or OMNI. ICC is the organization that is responsible for the plumbing, gas, and mechanical building codes for 47 states throughout the United States. OMNI was at the forefront of state and federal emissions standards development.
In addition to ICC and OMNI certification, our fire pits are produced by large companies with consistent product quality – many made in America!
Once you have determined which your fire pit, or burner if considering custom made, you can now start to ponder it’s location. Keep in mind that in addition to the space your fire pit and furniture will require, you will also need space for pathways and traffic routes.
Fire pits shouldn’t be placed in confined areas that would force a person to get any closer to the fire pit than they would want to. If there will be children present, is it in an area they typically run by, or throw balls back and forth?
Once you know your fire pit has been tested and certified, and is going to be in a safe location, it’s time to think about controlling the gas. If you opt for natural gas, make sure you know where the remote shut off valve is. If you have a propane setup, make sure you know which side of the fire pit the turn off valve is located. Should there ever be a need to quickly turn off your fire pit, knowing how to turn it off quickly is key.
Do you have the need to control when the firepit is used? If you have children or if the fire pit is even remotely accessible by the public, consider some type of a gas valve with a lock. These locks are available for propane and connect directly to the propane tank. There are numerous options for natural gas as well. Sometimes simply removing the knob on the valve (or the gas key in some cases) is enough to deter someone from trying to use the fire pit.
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