As the weather gets nicer and we spend more time outdoors, nothing beats lighting a fire in your outdoor fire pit. The crackling of the wood, making S'mores, and getting warm by the fire are just a few of the great things about having a fire pit in your backyard. But there are also some risks you need to remember before you fire things up this spring.

This warning is especially timely given a fire in Cedar Rapids on Sunday was started by the ashes in a fire pit. CBS2 reports that the blaze at 3700 Blue Mound Drive NE started after hot ashes were put in a yardy cart, which started the garage on fire. The blaze eventually spread to the home. No one was injured. What should you do to prevent this from happening in your backyard?

Ryan Brainard
Ryan Brainard

HGTV suggests that your fire pit should be at least 10 feet away from any structure, and better yet, up to 20 feet. Also, check to make sure there are no plants or trees hanging too close. This goes for a pit that burns wood, or a gas-powered fire pit.

Other safety tips include keeping an eye on the weather. HGTV says a light breeze is fine, but windy conditions can carry hot embers near homes and garages. Keep kids and pets away from the fire pit. Setting up at least a three-foot perimeter is always a good idea. Always stay with your fire and never leave it unattended.

Ryan Brainard
Ryan Brainard

Finally, putting out your fire pit is another important step. Some pits, including mine pictured directly above, come with a lid and suffer to put out the flames. Don't pour water in as that could lead to rust. HGTV suggests you can also use dry sand or dirt to put out a fire. Never walk away from hot embers thinking that everything is done burning!

Get the S'mores supplies ready and enjoy another season of using your fire pit!

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