PLATTSMOUTH – For those who have a fire pit in their yards, or thinking of having one, the Plattsmouth Volunteer Fire Department has some safety tips to help prevent family enjoyment from becoming a tragedy.
“First of all, if it is windy, please think about waiting until the wind dies down,” said Bob Heckman, firefighter. “If you are going to use it, have a garden hose or a bucket of water handy.”
Adult supervision is imperative if small children or pets are around the fire, he added.
“Do not let your guard down. In a split second, it can go from enjoyment to tragedy.”
People should never use a flammable liquid to start the fire and if their clothing catches fire, they should drop to the ground and roll to extinguish it.
“Do not burn treated lumber, painted lumber trash or household waste,” Heckman said. “If by chance your fire gets out of control, call 911 and every second you delay the call the fire will double in size.”
For those considering a fire pit in their yard, make sure it’s at least 30 feet away from any structure, he said.
“Use bricks or steel rings for setting up the fire pit, and always think safety,” Heckman said.
These same rules apply when people have a campfire while camping, he added.
“Always have your cell phone handy so that if an accident happens, you can call 911 sooner. And, if you make phone calls never, never leave your fire unattended. Use common sense and if we are under a burning ban think about waiting.”
When it’s time to extinguish the fire, Heckman recommends pouring enough water onto the coals until they’re cool to the touch, then add more water as a way of checking it twice to ensure the fire is out.
In Plattsmouth, fire pits can be used only between daybreak until sunset, Heckman said.