Tiki Torch Safety
Tiki torch safety should be considered when using a tiki torch. For all the fun and beauty tiki torches add to a setting, it would be imprudent to overlook the fact that, in most cases, we’re talking about an object that sports an open flame. As such, there is an element of risk associated with them. The good news is that a little thinking ahead can largely offset that risk. It is important to mention that this little tiki torch safety guide is not complete primer on open flame safety. You are ultimately responsible for deciding whether or not to use outdoor torches and, most importantly, for reading all tiki torch safety labels and using them safely.
First, ensure there are no tree limbs or other overhangs near your torches. Trim back any low branches of relocating your tiki torch isn’t an option and keep the wick short. If you can’t hold your hand over the flame at the height of the branch or overhanging object then you have a fire risk.
Also pay attention to the objects near the flame. Wind gusts will bend the flame from your tiki torches and could ignite nearby branches or flammable objects. Best option here is to ensure your tiki torches are placed with ample room to the sides and above.
Freestanding tiki torches, not unlike a standing house lamp, can be toppled. If you have hyperactive pets or children, ensure they aren’t playing around the torch particularly while it’s lit. When not in use, standing tiki torches can be moved to a less trafficked area. Children and pets can play without risk of toppling an unlit torch and spilling the oil everywhere.
Remember that children are fascinated by flames. Invest the time to talk to your kids about the risks and dangers to ensure they have a healthy respect for your tiki torches. Regardless how attentive they may seem, keep a close eye on children when hosting a tiki torch party and remind your guests to do the same.
Tiki Torches with Longer Post
Also consider the height of you garden torches. Some come with fairly short posts, placing the flame near head height for many adults and within reach of curious little hands. Try to get torches with longer posts so the flames will be above head height and less likely to catch and ignite hair or clothing. Buy extensions for torches with short posts or bypass them all together if you don’t think you can extend them or manage the safety of your guests around them.
Remember that the oil or gas used in your tiki torches is highly flammable. Clean up spills promptly and store the fuel in a cool, dry, safe place away from direct sunlight. Read the warning labels carefully so you know what to do in the event that you come in contact with the oil.
Consider that there are alternatives to open flame oil and gas torches. If you can’t ensure the safety of your guests, children or pets. If you find yourself worrying endlessly about the risks, consider electric tiki torches which don’t produce an actual flame. The look and feel is decidedly different, but better safe than sorry.
Finally, recognize irrational fear. Your tiki torches are no different than large candles or a fire in a fireplace. They demand caution, respect and common sense. They aren’t something you need to spend every waking moment panicking about particularly when they’re unlit. Provide warning to your guests that there will be open flames outside and give children, yours and theirs, the attention they demand.
Tiki Torch Fall Safety
The truly brave won’t let something as trivial as cool temperatures drive them away from their backyard entertaining. For the rest of us (myself included) if it isn’t already time to put the tiki torches in storage, the time isn’t far off. But there’s still time to squeeze a few more tiki torch parties in, just with a new safety concern.
Fall is a beautiful time of year. Leaves turn to brilliant colors and paint the canopy overhead in licks of flame coloring to match the fire from our tiki torches. But they also drift down into our yards where they become dry, brittle and extraordinarily flammable.
This is the time of year when you should be particularly careful with your open flame tiki torches and particularly cautious about your overhead environment. It just takes one leaf to ruin your Tiki party. Falling onto your torch, catching fire and then drifting down to accumulated leaves on the ground.
If entertaining outside in the fall with tiki torches, ensure leaves are raked, collected and removed from around your torches to prevent the scenario above. Make sure to have a reasonable amount of space between the likely spill area and accumulating leaves, if the tiki torch falls.
Dry leaves can get caught in branches overhead and be more prone to combustion. You should revaluate your tiki torch placement and always be on the side of caution.
The turning of the seasons may not be enough to drive the truly macho among you indoors just yet. But consider the advice above and enjoy your tiki torches safely!