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Just as important as knowing how to start a fire. Without proper caution, fire can spread quickly and irresponsibly.
Even if a fire looks out, there could be some heat retained in the ash and wind, or even heat from the sun, could cause the fire to start again.
Always consider your environment and the risk of wildfires. We have enough of those already, and we don’t want you to be the cause of the next environmental disaster.
How to put out a fire pit
There are a few ways to safely put out a backyard fire pit. Each one follows the same basic principle, removing the oxygen from the fire.
Every fire needs fuel, oxygen, and heat. Knowing this, we can remove each element to confidently extinguish the fire pit.
Spread the fuel and open the fire
If more wood has recently been added to the fire and you need to put it out. The safest way to start is to spread the fuel. Use a fire poker or even a long stick to safely spread the log. Separate them so that they are not touching. Reducing the mass of fuel will reduce the heat within the fire.
Cover the flames with water
It may seem pretty obvious to use water. It’s always important to have a bucket of water to hand when you have a fire going. Once you have spread the fuel slowly pour water into the fire pit to douse the fire and remove some of the heat. Try not to pour too much water in. You just want to reduce the intense heat. If you add too much water the cleanup will be much harder.
Stir the water in with a fire poker or large stick. Make sure that the water is mixed in with the embers and reduce the heat.
Hot Tip: Keep a spray bottle of water on hand. You can use this to spray the embers and take the heat away. It’s a cleaner method and stops you from pouring large amounts of water into the fire pit bowl.
Cover the fire with dirt or sand
The next step is to remove the oxygen. When you have a fire pit it’s important to have some extra tools to hand. Such as the previously mentioned bucket and importantly a shovel. Spread some sand or dirt over the fire with the shovel. Covering all the embers and the fuel with sand or soil is a really effective way of putting out your fire pit.
Hot tip: The next day once the fire is completely out. Take the mix of ash and dirt to your compost bin. Adding ash to compost is beneficial as it is full of nutrients and can help level out the PH of your compost.
Use a fire extinguisher
It’s probably a good idea for every home to have a fire extinguisher on hand. If a fire ever gets out of control, use the fire extinguisher and remove potentially flammable materials from the area. Get yourself an ABC multipurpose extinguisher. This fire extinguisher can be used on most types of fire, including wood, flammable liquids, and even electrical fires.
A bucket of water should suffice, but a fire extinguisher is a worthwhile investment for your home.
Cut off the fuel supply
If you’re using a gas fire pit, then the easiest thing to do is to turn off the gas. Make sure you know how to do this quickly in an emergency, and teach the rest of your family how to do it as well.
Let it burn out naturally
It’s not recommended to leave the fire burning overnight. But I have done this occasionally. If you have a very well-built enclosed fire pit, away from other flammable materials, then it is fairly safe. Spread the remaining fuel so the heat can start to die down.
Use the fire pit snuffer
Some fire pits come with a lid, which is often referred to as a snuffer. It encloses the fire pit and removes the oxygen. If your fire pit has one, this is a safe way to extinguish your fire.
What you need to put out a fire pit
There are only two things you really need to keep with you. A bucket of water and a shovel for digging out dirt. The shovel can also be used to spread the fuel and stir in the water. It’s a very useful tool to have around when maintaining a fire.
How to keep your fire pit safe
A few notes on how to keep your fire pit safe.
Make sure that you keep flammable materials away from the fire pit area. Keep a safe 10 foot radius around the fire pit.
Don’t light a fire on a windy day. Wind can pick up the embers and cause wildfires to start.
Don’t leave the fire pit unattended. Make sure there is always a competent person attending the fire.
How to put out a fire pit FAQ
how long does it take to cool down
It can take 15 mins to 2 hrs for a fire pit to cool down. But can take over 24 hours to go completely cold.
can you leave the fire burning overnight
It is not recommended, but you can. If you feel the environment is safe, then you can allow it to cool down overnight. If you have a snuffer for your fire pit then use it.