Burning safety

Safety tips for controlled burns and fire pits

Humans have a long history with fire — for cooking, warmth, environmental management, and sometimes just for fun.

If you're having an outdoor fire, either for a controlled burn or in a fire pit with friend and marshmallows, here are some tips to help manage your fire safely.

Controlled burns Fire pits

Controlled burns

Controlled burns can be beneficial for landowners. Properties can accumulate dead grasses, brush, branches, and other vegetation — the stuff that fuels wildfires. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MNDNR), a controlled burn (sometimes called a prescribed burn) can be cheaper and less labor intensive than other land management tactics, like chemicals, mowing, or bulldozing.

Controlled burns rejuvenate native grasses and trees while reducing undesirable weeds and woody vegetation. Controlled burns can help foster habitat for native wildlife, too.

Tips for a controlled burn

Whether for pasture or prairie, woodland or forest, controlled burns are an efficient, cost-effective way to manage your land. But even with all the right training and tools, a controlled burn has the potential to be dangerous. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has the following recommendations for open burns.

  • Is now a good time to burn? Each season brings its own risks and benefits with controlled burns. Consider consulting with DNR staff in your area about your burn.
  • Call before you burn. Notify your local fire department when and where you plan to have a controlled burn.
  • Keep a watchful eye. Have at least one person attending by the fire until its put out.
  • Be ready to put it out. Have a garden hose connected to a water supply or other fire-extinguishing resources available to prevent the spread of the fire.

Fire pit safety tips

Some nights aren’t complete without a fire in the backyard fire pit with family or friends. To keep yourself and your guests safe, know these safety tips.

For more information

Your homeowners insurance policy can protect your property in a fire. Read more fire safety tips or contact an independent agent to review your coverages.


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