GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) — With warmer weather bringing families outside — many may be spending their time around a backyard fire pit.
Blankets, loose clothing, children, and alcohol are all factors, and when mixed together a potential disaster can occur.
“Fire pit injuries are very serious injuries that we see we unfortunately — see too many of them here at the RI burn center,” said Dr. David Harrington of the Rhode Island Burn Center.
The center sees up to seven major burns a year related to fire pits.
“There are quite deep, they go through all the thickness of the skin and require surgery many times,” Harrington added.
But officials say following a few tips can make your summer nights injury-free.
“Open area, middle of the year, garden hose handy — always the best way to operate a fire pit,” said Chief Ken Finlay of the Cumberland Fire Department.
And Chief Finlay gave another safety tip — never use gasoline to fuel your fire. “General rule of thumb: it should be equal to your height.”
When you’re done with your fire, officials say to douse the flames with water because it could take up to 24 hours for the embers to cool off.
“We get young children who walk into these fire pits and get burns and graphs — and that’s a really debilitating injury,”
Residents should also check with their town or city about fire pit regulations. Often, city agencies require pits to be covered.
Chiminea’s can be a safe alternative to keep sparks from flying around, but the outside can become extremely hot — so make sure to always use caution and make sure your kids know the dangers too.