Nothing says “summer” like a campfire or bonfire, but these fun activities also bring a fair number of safety hazards! Fortunately, there are plenty of ways you can help protect yourself and your loves ones while still having a great time!
Summer is the most dangerous season for fire-related injuries and fatalities. If you will be spending the summer camping or just toasting marshmallows in the backyard, take the time to educate yourself and your family about campfire safety!
Keep in mind and follow these rules:
- Follow area rules: Some Parks and Towns prohibit fire and these rules are there for a reason. Check local regulations before you build your fire.
- Know and Teach “Stop, Drop, Cover Face and Roll”. It is important that all members of your family and guests around the campfire know how to “Stop, Drop, Cover Face and Roll.” Should an article of clothing catch on fire, by following this simple technique, you will help protect yourself and others from injury.
- Check your surroundings: Choose a location for your campfire where it cannot spread. This means finding a clearing away from dry leaves, grass areas, or under overhanging tree branches. Clear away all shrubbery and vegetation from the area, dig a pit for the fire and surround it with rocks. This will help keep the fire contained.
- Be smart about lighter fluid: Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid near the campfire. Stray flames can easily ignite these materials. Try to use alternative fire starters if possible.
- Keep your fire far from your tent: If you are planning on camping this summer, be sure to place your campfire away from you tent. It should always be downwind from the tent, too. Only use tents made from flame-retardant materials!
- Keep it under control: While big bonfires are impressive, it is much safer to keep fires small, so they are easier to control
- Don’t abandon your fire: If your fire has lasted long through the night, don’t leave it burning as you get ready for bed. Always put the fire out. This means separating logs, using sand or dirt to extinguish flames, or even spraying water on embers still red.
- Be prepared: Never light a fire if you do not have the means to extinguish it! Always keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby.
- Know how to put it out: To extinguish a campfire, douse it with water, use a shovel to bury the fire with dirt, then douse the area with water. The water will produce a good amount of smoke, so be careful of how close you are!
Enjoy the summer! By knowing and practicing summer fire safety tips, you can enjoy many wonderful times outside full of laughter, happiness, and safety.