How to Make sure your Family has a Safe Campfire this Summer.
With summer approaching fast and cabin fever from COVID-19 at an all time high, getting out this summer will be a great relief. Being able to go down to the lake, park, or backyard and sit around a warm fire while making smore’s will be a welcome treat. However, making sure it is done safely will prevent a hard year, from becoming even worse. Here are some tips to make sure your fire is safe this year.
The three things you need to make sure your fire is safe are 1) the right location 2) proper maintenance and 3) full extinguishment.
- When choosing the right location for a fire, you should make sure there is nothing in the immediate surrounding are which could catch fire. There should be 10 feet of cleared space around your fire site and nothing overhead such as tree branches or a building overhang, which could be damaged by smoke. Make sure that the location you are having your fire does not have a burn ban or fire warning in effect so that you are safe from any kind of legal trouble and you know the risk of having a fire. If at a formal campground, look for a fire pit or designated campfire area.
- Proper maintenance begins before you ever start your fire. Making sure you have all the materials you need before starting the fire is a key to safety. All fires should have a bucket of water nearby and a shovel or other tools for putting it out. Having a fire extinguisher nearby is a near guaranteed way to prevent most fires from ever getting out of control in the first place.
After your fire is started, make sure that someone is always watching over it. Never leave your fire unattended as there are a million different possibilities for something bad to happen. Proper maintenance also means proper behavior with the fire, do not throw cans, glass bottles or aerosols into the fire, they could shatter and explode sending hot, sharp projectiles all over the area. Likewise, don’t allow young children to play too close to the fire or throw any objects into the fire.
Maintain the fire by providing the proper amount of fuel. Do not add too much wood or fire igniter as you can easily make a blaze bigger than you can handle. On the other hand, do not let the fire have too little fuel as the more times you have to restart it, the more chance that a mistake happens with ignition.
- Once it is time to put the fire out, make sure it is really out. A large portion of fire accidents occur after the fire was thought to be put out. Poor the bucket of water you brought onto the coals. Then stir the coals around with a shovel or rake and add more water if they are still not cold. Keep stirring until you are able to touch the coals with your bare hand. If the whole family is involved, this process should only take a few minutes and can be a fun activity to do together. One person gets the water, a few people stir the coals, and the rest can clean up the area.
This summer should be one that is full of fun and family activities. Families will likely still need to distance themselves from others well into the fall so enjoying family activities outside such as fires can be really enjoyable. Make sure you are using the best safety practices and have a great summer!