Campfire Safety Tips

Nothing says "summer" like a campfire or bonfire, but these fun activities also present a number of safety hazards. 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.

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.

Know to Stop, Drop, and Roll

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.