Tips for Keeping Your (Garden) Flame Alive
Angelenos are wild for our fire features. It’s easy to see why we fall – with the help of a fire feature, we can actively enjoy outdoor spaces through the holidays. That said, circa 2018, California and fire have officially changed their relationship status to “it’s complicated.” Long story short, the new normal isn’t exactly cozy.
If you and your family enjoy roasting s’mores over your fire pit or gazing at the flames of the outdoor fireplace, consider these tips to ensure your fire is a safe, healthy and enduring element of your outdoor space and the LA community.
Design for Health and Safety
- Know your home – some areas of county are extremely vulnerable to fire
- Check with your local fire agency and municipality for fire-feature related guidelines before building
- Ensure overhead structures are comprised of fire proof or resistant material
- Use only non-combustible materials, such as “fireglass”
- Place potentially flammable furniture, cushions, and fabrics at a safe distance
- Keep highly flammable or dense foliage at least 10 feet away
- Design seating with room to relax without placing hair, arms and legs in reach of flames
- Ensure prevailing winds blow flames away from your home and other structures
- Use natural gas or alcohol instead of wood to avoid smoke inhalation and protect air quality, as well as preventing the escape of embers (aka fire brands)
- Provide easy to find and use fuel shut on/off switch
Build-In Enduring Quality to Avoid Hassles
- Use locally sourced, fire rated or fire proof material
- Select materials that tolerate outdoor weather, shrink and swell effects, moisture and high heat exposure
- Match the fuel and fuel supply to the size of flame needed to produce the needed design aesthetic
- Select enduringly lovely materials ultimately consistent with your home design
Use It – But Don’t Lose It!