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Are there any insurance recommendations for bonfires, outdoor fire pits, or fireplaces?

The insurance company’s loss control department discourages the installation of exterior wood burning pits or similar setups for the following reasons:

  • Such a device could possibly create sparks or burning embers, which could be captured by strong winds and cause a building and/or grass fire.
  • A fire that has effectively died down and is left unattended could actually still be smoldering and re-ignite, causing problems as noted above.
  • Igniting a fire brings a potential for burns, especially if a person pours a large amount of a highly flammable fluid onto the wood to start the fire, such as charcoal lighter (could be spilled onto their persons, making this a potentially critical situation).
  • Adding additional wood to a lit fire brings the potential for burns.
  • Portable pits may cause a number of problems, especially if they aren’t sturdy. If someone tries to move or push a portable pit while it is still burning or hot, it could fall over, resulting in a fire and/or burns. If the unit is initially positioned too close to a building or other combustibles and then lighted, it may cause a building or other uncontained fire.