Before you start a bonfire, make sure outdoor fires are legal in your community. If outdoor fires are permitted, only build them in enclosed, contained areas. Try an outdoor chimenea, fire bowl or fire pit, taking care not to overload it. Make sure there is nothing flammable within 3 feet of the fire. It is important that you never leave a fire unattended. Sparks can blow onto surrounding leaves and grass and quickly spread. Always keep a garden hose or bucket of water nearby to extinguish errant flames.
When you're done with your outdoor fire, drown flames with plenty of water and stir the ashes. Continue adding water and stirring until everything is cold to the touch. Don't discard ashes or embers in trashcans until the next day. Instead, collect them in a metal bucket designated for ashes only and leave it outside overnight. Douse with water again in the morning before discarding the ashes in the trash. When using a patio heater, always remember to turn it off when you go inside.
It's also important to keep your roof clear of leaves and other debris. This will prevent sparks, power lines or lightning from starting a fire on your roof—not to mention improving the look of your home's exterior.
To clean your gutters and roof, remove loose debris using a handheld blower or wet/dry vacuum. It's best to do this on a dry day when leaves are loose and light. Some tools include attachments designed specifically for gutters and downspouts. Blow off or blow out as much loose debris as possible and collect it in yard refuse bags. Use a gutter scoop to remove stubborn or compacted debris from your gutters and downspouts. Start at the downspouts and work away from them to avoid pushing debris together and creating more clogs. If you want, use a wire hook to attach a bucket to your ladder for easier collection or to carry tools.
Following these outdoor fire safety tips will help keep your family and home safe.
Don't throw away your gutter waste; it makes a great addition to your compost pile if you have one.
Sharp objects such as thorns and roofing nails often end up in gutters. Wear heavy gloves for protection. Falling is also a potential hazard. Practice ladder safety and invest in an adjustable ladder stabilizer.