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Summer Campfire Safety Tips

Summertime is perfect for gathering around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, and enjoying quality time with family and friends under the starry sky. However, without proper precautions, a cozy evening can quickly turn hazardous—just like what happened to me and my family last summer. We had our campfire a little too close to the cabin we were renting, and a huge gust of wind came, blowing tons of tiny embers toward it. After a quick water dousing, we learned the importance of keeping a safe distance between the fire and any structures, as well as the need to always monitor changing weather conditions.

7 Tips to Keep You and Your Family Safe During a Campfire

1. Keep Your Campfire a Safe Distance from Any Structure

When recalling that close call with our cabin, it became clear how important it is to place your fire pit at least 10 feet away from any structures. This distance not only prevents accidental fires but also ensures everyone’s safety during outdoor gatherings.

2. Watch the Weather

It’s important to check the forecast before lighting a fire. Sudden gusts, like the one we experienced, can quickly turn your campfire into an uncontrollable fire. Always avoid dry or windy conditions.

3. Learn How to Create a Safe Campfire

Take time to learn the proper techniques for building and maintaining a campfire. This includes knowing how to safely start, manage, and extinguish a fire. Familiarize yourself with the dos and don’ts of campfire construction to ensure a safe experience.

4. Keep an Eye on Children

Accidents can happen quicker than you think. During a family camping trip a few years ago, my younger cousin accidentally tripped near the campfire while playing and almost burned himself badly. Always supervise children closely around fires to prevent any mishaps.

5. Know What to Avoid Burning

Do you have a friend who really likes doing questionable things? Well, I have one of those friends, and he decided to toss an aerosol can into the fire for fun, not realizing what would happen. The result? An explosion. It was a scary wake-up call.

Remember, certain materials like plastics and aerosols should never be burned in a campfire. Additionally, refrain from using chemical accelerants like gasoline, which can create uncontrollable flames and explosions. Here’s a list of items you shouldn’t burn.

6. Never Leave a Campfire Unattended

A fire can spread rapidly in just a few minutes. If you need to leave the area, even briefly, ensure the fire is completely extinguished. Leaving a campfire unattended is a common cause of wildfires and accidents.

7. Extinguish the Fire Properly

Make sure to use plenty of water to put out the fire when you’re done for the night. Covering the fire with dirt sometimes isn’t enough. Stir the wood, coals, and embers to ensure everything is completely out. Check that the ground is cool to the touch before leaving the area, and stay nearby if it is not.

By following these safety tips, you can enjoy the warmth and ambiance of a campfire while keeping everyone safe. Have a wonderful time making memories under the starry sky!