Memorial Day is the unofficial kickoff weekend to the start of summertime fun. If your weekend plans include sitting around the campfire during your celebrations, here are some important tips to keep you and your family safe!
Having a campfire can be one of the greatest joys of summer. Whether roasting marshmallows, cooking a meal or surrounded by family and friends, it’s important to understand how to stay safe around a campfire.
- Select an appropriate location. Before creating a campfire, make sure you understand any rules or regulations for your area. Avoid building the fire near low-hanging branches, tree roots, structures, and other flammable items. Try to choose a location where your fire will be sheltered from the wind and use campfire rings or other designated campfire accessories whenever possible.
- Use the appropriate campfire fuel. Soft woods like pine, fir, and cedar are best for starting a fire. Start the fire by building a small teepee of dry sticks and igniting it with a match. As the fire gets started, add larger pieces of wood. Remember to keep the fire small. Don’t burn items that may explode or give off toxic fumes. Never use gasoline or other flammable liquids to start a campfire. Never throw items into a fire, including batteries, plastic bags, glass, and aluminum cans.
- Supervise the campfire area continuously. A responsible adult should always be present while a campfire is burning. Encourage small children and pets to stay seated several feet away from the fire. Extinguished campfire areas should still be monitored after the flames have gone out to make sure the campfire does not reignite. Be sure that children are not burned by embers, which still retain heat even after the fire is extinguished.
- Completely extinguish the campfire. A roaring fire is both a success and a responsibility. It is your job to properly maintain and extinguish your campfire when you are finished. Make sure you always have a large bucket of water and metal shovel on hand to put out the fire. Pour lots of water on the fire, drown all embers, not just the red ones, until the hissing sound stops. Stir the campfire ashes and embers with a shovel and pour more water on the ashes, until the fire and embers are completely out.
E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety reminds you that Memorial Day weekend activities are more fun when you know that your kids and family are safe and secure because Fire Is Everyone’s Fight®