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Fire Pits, Bonfires, and Your Lungs: 7 Safety Tips

Health Articles |
Categories: Summer Health

Gathering around a fire pit with friends and family is a great way to spend a cool Fall night. Usually in the backyard, the fire pit serves as a s'mores roasting platform for people of all ages. While enjoying a s'more, or time with friends, it is rare that we think about the health risks of a fire pit. In fact, there are several dangers posed by fire pits, so learn how to protect yourself and your family with these 7 safety tips:

Keep a bucket of water near by

Just to be safe, the best thing to do when lighting your fire pit is to keep a bucket of water in close proximity. If the fire starts getting out of hand and the winds pick up, you might need to throw water on the fire in order to tame it.

Check the weather

It's very important to consider weather conditions before lighting a fire pit. The fire can be hard to control if the winds are above 20 mph. Too much wind will surround the area with smoke.

Keep your distance

Everyone loves being surrounded by the warmth of a fire pit, especially on a brisk night. Although the heat coming off the fire feels great, it is important to keep a safe distance. Also, make sure you choose a seat that reduces the smoke blowing in your face to limit the amount you breathe in. Parents should watch their children to make sure they do not touch the fire pit.

Teach children about fire safety

If it is your first time lighting the fire pit around your children, use it as an opportunity to teach them a about fire safety. Most importantly, stress the point that they cannot touch the fire, pit or lid because it is dangerous and can hurt them.

Keep the fire small

Using a fire pit comes with a responsibility to make sure that the fire doesn't get out of control. Make sure the fire is a manageable size; use small sticks and logs instead of huge pieces of wood. The bigger the pieces of wood, the longer the fire will last. You can always keep adding pieces if you want the fire to last longer.

Don't put oil on the fire

Adding oil or gasoline to the fire will make the fire more difficult to control. Avoid these chemicals as much as possible. A fire pit isn't meant to be so large that it might cause a hazard.

Be mindful of sickness or lung issues

If you are sick, or have a chronic lung disease, it is in your best interest to stay away from the fire. The smoke coming off of the fire is not healthy to be around because of toxins within.

Enjoy your nights with friends and family around the fire, but remember these safety tips to make it a more enjoyable night for all!

About Doylestown Health

Doylestown Health is a comprehensive healthcare system of inpatient, outpatient and wellness education services connected to meet the health needs of all members of the local and regional community. Doylestown Hospital, the flagship to Doylestown Health has 239 beds and a Medical Staff of more than 435 physicians in over 50 specialties. An independent nonprofit health system, Doylestown Health is dedicated to providing innovative, patient-centered care for all ages.

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