Whether you already have a fire pit, are planning to add one or just purchased a portable one, it’s important to review safety tips to enjoy a safe summer.

Start with selecting the right site—one with level ground. Keep fires at least 10 to 20 feet away from plants, your home or other structures that could catch on fire. Look above to make sure the fire is not under an overhang or overhanging trees. Sparks fly, and you could end up with a larger fire than you were expecting.

Only burn wood that’s been seasoned. Avoid plywood or other construction materials that could release toxic fumes. Most importantly, never use gasoline to start your fire.

Before lighting any fire, check your local fire regulations. You may need to obtain a burn permit or follow burning restrictions during wildfire season.

When you’re done enjoying your fire, extinguish it properly with water. Gently stir it with a shovel or other tool, and spread the ashes to cool. Once they’re cool to the touch, you can leave the site. It’s a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand nearby in case the fire gets out of hand.