Campfire Safety Tips

Campfire Safety Tips

Nothing says “summer” like a campfire or bonfire, but these fun activities also present a number of safety hazards.  According to a report from the United States Fire Administration, summer is one of the most dangerous seasons for fire-related injuries and deaths.  Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to protect yourself and your loved ones while still having a great time.

If you’ll be spending the summer camping or just toasting marshmallows in the back yard, it’s a good idea to educate yourself about campfire safety.  Keep the following tips in mind:

1. Follow Area Rules
Always follow the campfire rules for the area where you are camping or living. Some parks and towns prohibit fires, and these rules are there for a reason. Check the local regulations before you build your fire.

2. Know to Stop, Drop, and Roll
It is important to make sure that all members of your family know to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” if an article of clothing ever catches on fire.  Instead of just talking about it to young children, practice the steps together.

3. Check Your Surroundings
Choose a location for your campfire where it will not spread.  Never build a campfire near any dry leaves or grassy areas or under overhanging tree branches.  Before building a campfire, clear away all shrubbery and vegetation from the area, dig a pit for the fire, and surround it with rocks.

4. Be Smart About Lighter Fluid
Do not store gasoline, liquid fire starter, or any other type of flammable liquid near the campfire.  It’s too easy for stray flames to ignite these materials.

5. Keep Your Fire Away from the Tent
Do not place your campfire near the tent.  It should always be placed downwind from the tent.  Only use tents made from flame-retardant materials if you’ll be having a campfire.

6. Keep It Under Control
Do not build large campfires, even if they seem impressive.  It’s much safer to keep fires small so they are easier to control.

7. Stay Nearby
Never leave a campfire lit if there is no one to attend to it.  If you’re going to sleep for the night, always take the time to put the fire out.

8. Be Prepared
Never light a campfire if you do not have the means of extinguishing it. Always keep plenty of water and a shovel near the campfire to use in an emergency and to put the campfire out when you are finished using it.

9. Know How to Put It Out
To extinguish a campfire douse it with water, use the shovel to bury the fire with ash and dirt. Then douse the area with water.

Dedicated to Our Community,
Chief Dale S. Arkenburg