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 possibly cause a building and/or grass fire.
  • There would be the possibility that the unit is left unattended at times, especially after the fire has effectively died down for the evening. The fire could actually still be smoldering and could possibly re-ignite, causing problems as noted above. Any time someone goes to add additional wood to a fire already going, there would be the potential for burns.
  • There would be a burn potential when persons initially ignite the fire, especially if they pour 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).
  • If the pit is portable raises a number questions, all of which could cause problems, such as just how sturdy is the pit? What if someone tries to move/push it while it is still burning or is still hot? (It could fall over, resulting in a fire and/or burns). What if the unit is initially positioned too close to a building or other combustibles and then lighted?