Homeowners Insurance and Backyard Fire Pits

With summer nights in full swing, homeowners are picturing ways to enjoy their backyards. Accessorizing the backyard means ponds, vegetable gardens, and fire pits! Whether you’re roasting marshmallows with the kids or enjoying some time with your friends, the appeal of an outdoor fire pit is easy to see.

Deciding whether to purchase or build your own fire pit is not the only decision homeowners need to make in the process. You need to consider safety, cost, space on hand, local laws, and of course you homeowners insurance.

Cost

Adding an outdoor fire pit can vary in cost from a hundred dollars to even a few thousand. Digging the hole yourself and buying your own stones can be the cheapest way. However, if you plan on adding seating and rock work, expect to pay a lot more.

Location

Most communities require that your fire pit be at least 10 feet away from any structure or combustible surface, including your home, fence, and neighbor. Check with your local city authorities and observe the distance that is required by law in your town.

Portable or Permanent?

Homeowners definitely need to consider if they want a backyard area dedicated to their fire pit or if they want something that is portable and can be brought anywhere. Portable fire pits offer a lot of options. You can get a fire bowl in all different tips of shapes and sizes made of different materials. Built in fire pits need to be carefully planned and match the theme of your backyard with seating. Regardless of which avenue you take make sure that you are using it safely.

Safety

A blazing, backyard fire pit is perfect on a cool night- unless the flames become uncontrollable. There are risks associated with putting your fire pit on your wood deck. If embers fly, things could get very dangerous. However, a permanent fire pit is normally built on a gravel base.

The most important fire precaution to take is to keep your fire small. There is no need to have a blazing bonfire in your backyard. It makes sense that the bigger the fire, the greater chance of there being a disaster.

Before lighting your outdoor fire, make sure to double check the weather forecast. Avoid any windy conditions that could cause sparks to fly. When you are finished enjoying your fire for the evening, douse it thoroughly with water. However, if you have a portable fire pit, make sure to review the instruction on how to properly put your fire out.

Home Insurance

A typical home insurance policy will normally offer protection and coverage for a backyard fire pit. However, it does depend on what type of fire pit you have and the coverage you hold. A small portable fire pit could be considered personal property, while a permanent fire place could be classified as a detached structure.

Of course there are other potential risks of having a backyard fire and many different coverages that could help cover them. Liability protection can help cover injuries and property damage that could potentially occur during a backyard fire.

Having an outdoor fire can be enjoyable, but homeowners need to have the correct knowledge about their fire pits. Check with your home insurance agent today to see if your backyard fire pit is covered under your home insurance.

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