Spring is not exactly coming in like a lamb across the country, but it definitely has people everywhere thinking about going out with a roar. Specifically, the initial roaring flames of a fire in a patio grill until it settles down, or an outdoor oven as it picks up. With evenings warm enough in sweaters to linger outdoors warmed by outdoor fires, fire safety professionals are already sounding alarms.
Cooking Accounts for Lots of Unintended Fires
The exact number of fires unintentionally started by grills, ceramic stoves, and fire pits on patios may not be known. What is known is that something like 40 percent of all house fires are attributed to cooking. We all know that some part of that cooking is done on the deck or in the yard during warm weather months. Add to that decorative fire pits left uncovered and unattended, and un-cleaned ceramic stoves, and you have a fiery mix.
Even open fires should never burn close to flammable materials, and a door on an outdoor pizza oven does not change that. Wind adds a variable that is mostly absent in the kitchen, and all it takes is a spark to start an unintended fire. Worrying to fire safety professionals throughout the coming seasons, fire safety is a special concern in this transitional time.
No Good Excuses for Bad Outdoor Fire Safety
Quick-drying leaves are still “mulching” lots of yards, but recent snow in parts of the country is tricking lots of homeowners into overlooking them. With daytime temperatures climbing close to the 70s in places like Denver, that damp carpet rapidly becomes a dry mat. Most homeowners, however, have not even begun to think about fire safety in connection with finally raking their yards.
While outdoor ovens may not be covered by municipal fire codes and subject to inspection, they are still sites of combustion. That means creosote accumulation that can cause an unplanned fire even if you have raked the yard. Keep outdoor fireplaces of every type well away from combustibles, and check with a chimney sweep to be sure you are ready to start enjoying your outdoor space.