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Keeping Kids Safe Around Fire Pits

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Fire Pit Safety

As the weather gets cooler, many families enjoy spending time outdoors around a fire pit. While fire pits can be a lot of fun, it's important to make sure that your child knows the dangers of getting too close.

Burns are the most obvious danger, but children can also be injured if they fall into the pit or if sparks fly into their eyes. In addition, breathing in smoke from a fire pit can irritate the lungs and cause problems for people with asthma.

For these reasons, it's important to supervise your child around a fire pit and make sure they understand the dangers. Never leave a campfire unattended and review campfire safety tips and general fire safety with children.

Dangers of Getting Too Close to a Fire Pit

The flames from a fire pit can reach temperatures of over 1,000 degrees, making it easy to suffer a serious burn.

Additionally, sparks from the fire can easily ignite clothing or hair, leading to even more serious injuries.

Finally, smoke from the fire pit can be harmful to anyone who inhales it, but it is particularly dangerous for young children and infants.

Never Touch Flames - Stay a Safe Distance

Many people are drawn to the beauty and warmth of a fire, but it is important to remember that fire is also dangerous. Flames can cause serious burns, and smoke inhalation can be fatal.

Safety Instructions

For this reason, it is essential to exercise caution when around fire. Never touch the flames, and stay a safe distance away. If you are using a campfire or BBQ, build it in an open area away from trees, bushes, and dry grass.

Keep a bucket of cool water or sand nearby in case of an emergency. And never leave a fire unattended.

The "hot zone" is the three foot circle around the fire bowl where burns and other fire incidents are most likely to occur. Keep children in the safe zone, further than 3 feet from the fire and always have adult supervision.

Putting out a Fire Pit Fire

Fires can start small, but they have the potential to quickly become out of control. It's important to be aware of the potential hazards of fire pits and how to put out a fire should one get out of control.

The first step is to have a water source nearby, such as a garden hose or buckets of water. If the fire is small, you may be able to extinguish it by simply pouring water on it.

However, if the flames are bigger, you'll need to smother them with dirt or sand. Once the flames are extinguished, make sure to stir the ashes to ensure that they're completely out before leaving the area.

If possible, use a fire extinguisher to put out the flames. However, if the fire is already too large, evacuate the area immediately and call 911.

Remind children that hot coals remain hot even after they have been extinguished and certain fire accelerants run the risk of reigniting even after they have been put out.

By teaching your children these steps, you can ensure that they will be prepared in the event of a fire.


Dangers of Playing with Matches or Lighters

Playing with matches and lighters can be extremely dangerous, and it is important to warn children about the risks involved.

Each year, thousands of fires are started by children who are playing with these items. In many cases, these fires result in serious injuries or even death.

Additionally, playing with matches and lighters can also lead to property damage. Often, homes and businesses are destroyed when children start fires that get out of control.

Lighter fluid and highly flammable objects should stored safely and hidden from children. Older children especially tend to become curious about fire and experiment with matches and lighters.

It is crucial that parents and caregivers create a safe environment and take some family time to discuss the dangers of matches and lighters.

Keep an eye on your kids at all times

A fire pit can be a great addition to any backyard, providing a place to gather for roasting marshmallows and making memories. However, it's important to take precautions to ensure that everyone stays safe.

Make sure to keep an eye on your kids at all times when they're around the fire pit. Beware of igniting clothing.

Keep them away from the flames and make sure they understand not to touch any of the hot surfaces.

If you have small children, it may be best to keep them away from the fire pit altogether. Be sure to put out the fire completely before leaving the area.


Children are curious by nature and will want to get close to the in ground fire pit to see the flames up close. It's important to explain the dangers of doing this and teach them to stay at least 3 feet back.

Educating children on fire safety and hot to put out a fire is extremely important. keeping water nearby as well as a first aid kit in the event of an emergency can reduce incidents and create a safer environment.

Everyone is excited to enjoy time around the fire pit as the weather gets cooler, we hope you are more prepared to do it safely this season!

If you would like learn more about first and and lifesaving training, download our free guide here.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is it important to supervise children around fire pits?

  • Children are naturally curious and may not fully understand the dangers associated with fire pits. Supervision ensures they don't get too close, touch the flames, or play with fire-starting tools, preventing potential injuries.

2. What temperature can fire pit flames reach?

  • Fire pit flames can reach temperatures of over 1,000 degrees, making it easy for serious burns to occur if someone gets too close.

3. How can I ensure my child doesn't play with matches or lighters?

  • Store matches, lighters, and flammable liquids out of children's reach. Educate them about the dangers of playing with these items and regularly check their play areas for any such items they might find.

4. What should I do if the fire gets out of control?

  • If the fire becomes too large or uncontrollable, evacuate everyone from the area immediately and call 911. Always have a water source, like a garden hose or buckets of water, nearby when using the fire pit.

5. How far should children stay away from the fire pit?

  • Children should stay at least 3 feet away from the fire pit. This area, known as the "hot zone," is where most incidents are likely to occur.

6. Are there any health risks associated with fire pit smoke?

  • Yes, inhaling smoke from a fire pit can irritate the lungs and may cause problems for individuals with respiratory conditions like asthma.

7. How can I teach my child about fire safety?

  • Regularly discuss the dangers of fire with your child. Use teachable moments, like when you're around the fire pit, to explain safety rules. Consider enrolling them in a fire safety program or workshop if available in your community.

8. What should I do if someone gets burned?

  • For minor burns, hold the burned area under cool (not cold) running water for 10-15 minutes or until the pain eases. Protect the burn from further injury by covering it with a non-stick bandage. For more severe burns, seek medical attention immediately.

9. Is it safe to cook food over a fire pit?

  • Yes, but always use long-handled tools and ensure the firewood you're using is untreated and safe for cooking. Avoid using lighter fluid or gasoline to ignite or boost the fire when you plan to cook.

10. How can I make my backyard safer for fire pit usage?

  • Ensure your fire pit is at least 10 feet away from any structures or combustible materials. Clear the area around the pit of flammable debris. Have safety equipment like water, sand, and a fire extinguisher nearby. Regularly check and maintain your fire pit for any damages or issues.


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