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Keeping Safe With a Chiminea - My 7 Top Tips

Updated on June 13, 2010

The basics

In this hub I'm going to be writing my tips for basic chiminea saftey. However, before you read anything else there is one basic thing you must find out:

Before you buy a chiminea you must make sure that it is perfectly legal to burn anything outside in the area you live. Common sense would dictate that if you can use a barbecue then it should be ok to use a chiminea, but to avoid any possible problems just make a quick call to your local government office to make sure.

So go and make the call and come back to read the rest of my chiminea safety tips.

My 7 Top tips

1) Read the instructions

I know it sounds obvious but you'd be surprised how many people buy their chiminea, get it home, start using it straightaway and then wonder why it cracks. Did they read the instructions? No.

All chiminea have their unique characterstics so having a good understanding of yours is essential. Please read the user guide and check if your chiminea has anything important to note before you use it.

2) Find a good spot

You need to find a good spot in your garden or on your patio. Avoid anywhere with overhanging branches or foliage. It's also best not to place it too close to anything that can be affected by heat.To avoid it falling over choose somewhere flat and firm. Chiminea sit on legs and they will dig into the earth if you put in the garden directly. Best, have it on a firm, flat surface.

If you have a cast iron chiminea you are not going to want to move it due to its weight so choose a spot before it is delivered and ask the delivery service to put it exactly where you want it. Too many delivery services will just drop it outside your door and let you struggle to move it. However, a polite request will probably get it where you want it.

3) Are all the parts there?

Check your the instructions to make sure all of the pieces are there. Safety features include spark guards which are a wire mesh that covers the open face of the chiminea. These are more typical on metail variations than clay.

4) Protect the floor

Are you going to be placing it on your patio or decking? It may be a good idea to get a heat proof pad to place under it so you avoid heat or burn marks on the floor.

5) Buy a safety guard

Chiminea get hot. Very hot. If you have children or pets you probably don't want them to touch the surface of the chiminea. Cast iron gets very hot but clay also is dangerous to touch. You can get simple guards to place around your chiminea that will help you avoid any little fingers getting burnt. Telling your children of the dangers of fire and hot surfaces is obviously a good idea too.

6) Keep tools at handy reach

A simple set of tools will help you keep safe too. Heat proof gloves, tongs and a fire extinguisher are all essential. Too many people think it'll be ok to just 'grab' something with their hands. It never is. Get some thick gloves and tongs to do all the touching and an appropriate fire extinguisher if anything goes wrong.

7) Keep your petrol in the car

Never, ever start a fire in a chiminea with petrol or similar accelerants. It is likely to cause an explosion which won't go down well with your family or guests. It may also be fatal or you so please just don't do it. There are plenty of alternative methods out there to get a fire started. Try using normal firelighters or even try 'ocote' - a hardwood from the mountains of central America.


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    • profile image

      ReesD 8 years ago

      Good advice. Was thinking of getting one of these for the summer.

    • LewisD profile image

      LewisD 8 years ago

      Hey, another interesting article. Thank for posting.