During a recent Saturday I spent a lovely afternoon with friends at a Cape Cod waterfront resort. The grounds were breathtaking and terraced. The resort’s restaurant overlooked a patio, cabanas, and two beaches. Sailboats bobbed in the distance. The afternoon started out in the mid-80s, but by dusk the temperature dropped to the 60s and the wind picked up.
I looked down from my restaurant table and saw tall flames flickering from a large, circular fire pit in the center of the patio. Eager to warm themselves, about a dozen resort guests gathered around the fire pit; some sat with their backs to it on its stone ledge. My friends, who know I work for NFPA, suggested tongue-in-cheek that I leave my meal, run down the stairs and alert the guests to keep a safe distance from the fire pit. I didn’t have to. Pretty soon, a man and his son jumped off the ledge, rubbing their backs. Other guests moved away too.
As summer winds down, we’ll likely see more use of fire pits and other portable fireplaces. It’s important to follow safety rules, including keeping anything that can burn at least three feet away. You can check out additional information on portable fireplace safety and our tip sheet on the NFPA web site.