Bonfires: Keep Them Safe & Legal

Atlas Insurance Brokers - Rochester, MN

Bonfires: Keep Them Safe & Legal

It’s a great feeling to hang out with friends and family around a blazing fire in your backyard — unless, of course, that fire blazes a little too much.

While a fire pit can be a wonderful addition to your home, all fires are potentially dangerous. So, before you sit down with some marshmallows to roast, review our tips below to help keep the fire in the pit (and away from everything else).

Are you legal?

  • Before building or buying a fire pit, check the regulations in your area to learn about restrictions. The city of Rochester allows recreational fires but requires keeping them 25 ft. away from any house.
  • The city also requires keeping your fire to less than 3 feet in diameter and having water on hand, just in case.
  • There’s a difference between recreational fires and open burning. Burning of leaves, sticks, and downed trees is not allowed without a special permit.
  • See the full list of recreational fire tips from the City of Rochester here.

Ready to build your fire?

  • First, ensure the area under and around the fire pit is clear of flammable materials. Keep the pit itself a safe distance from any structures.
  • Choose hard, seasoned woods. Sparks from softer woods like cedar can increase the danger of igniting something nearby.
  • Don’t use liquid fuels, even lighter fluid, to get your fire going. And don’t burn paper, cardboard, leaves, garbage, etc.
  • If you have a metal fire pit, don’t overload it and always use the included safety screen.

Is the fire out?

When you’re done, spread out the ashes and let them cool off for a bit. Then gently pour water or sand over them. Stick around for a little while to watch for flare-ups.

We want you to have plenty of nice, warm nights — without getting burned. Here’s to making memories around the fire!

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