Sometimes there’s nothing better than unwinding next to a nice cozy fire. No matter the season, no matter the place – campfires are for roasting marshmallows, telling stories, sharing laughs and making memories.
In the midst of all the fun campfires bring, it’s easy to put safety on the back burner. Don’t let your precious memories turn to ash with an unfortunate event, keep these tips in mind instead:
1. Start the Fire off Right
Before you get going on your fire, make sure it is permitted where you live. Some areas don’t allow recreational fires, so be sure to check with your local fire department to be on the safe side.
Once you’ve done that, make sure to choose a spot at least 25 feet away from any structure and anything that can burn. Clear away dry leaves and sticks from the burn site as well as overhanging low branches and shrubs.
2. Maintain the Flames
Build your fire small so it’s easier to control. Avoid burning on windy, dry days. Windy and dry weather increases the chances that your fire will spread out of control.
3. Set a “No-Play” Zone for Children and Pets
Keep an eye on the little ones and your furry friend while the fire is burning. Never let children or pets play or stand too close to the fire. Establish a 3 foot “No-Play” zone to make sure no one gets injured.
4. NEVER Use Gasoline or Combustible Liquids
Trust me, you can start a fire without the help of dangerous liquids like gasoline, lighter fluid, and butane. There are plenty of household items than can be used to help your fire take off, such as paper, fabric and cardboard.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) identified that between the years of 2007 – 2011 flammable or combustible liquid fires resulted in an estimated 454 civilian deaths, 3,910 civilian injuries, and $1.5 billion in direct property damage per year. Just, don’t do it!
5. Never Leave Your Fire Unattended
It is never safe to leave your fire going without watchful eyes. A fire left alone for only a few minutes can grow into a damaging fire within only a few seconds.
6. Have Materials Readily Available to Extinguish Your Fire
Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to put out the fire if it gets out of hand. Make sure to put it out completely before leaving the site.
Embers can glow very hot, sometimes as hot as the fire which created them. They radiate a substantial amount of heat long after the fire has been extinguished, and if not taken care of properly can rekindle a fire that is thought to be completely extinguished and can pose a fire hazard.
7. Always Treat a Burn Right Away
Early treatment of a burn can substantially increase recovery. Cool the burn with cold water for three to five minutes then cover with a clean, dry cloth. Seek medical attention if burn is severe.