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Posted on: September 1, 2021

5 Simple Steps to Campfire Safety

Campfire Safety

There’s nothing like the tempting smell of marshmallows toasting or hot dogs roasting over an open fire. Whether camping, hiking or just hanging out in the backyard, this year more families are spending time outdoors. The Carbondale Fire Department would like to pass along some campfire safety tips to ensure you have a safe and happy Fall:  

Look Up and Around
When scouting out your fire pit, make sure it’s not under any low-hanging branches or near any brush or bushes. Also keep a radius of eight to 10 feet around the fire pit clear of tents, chairs, food and any other debris or obstructions.

Keep Water Nearby
A big gust of wind or new piece of wood could cause your fire to grow larger than anticipated. In that case, always keep water, dirt or a shovel nearby to help reduce the flames or put the fire out completely if necessary.

Safety Proof Your Pit at the Campground
While most campgrounds have a fire pit, it’s not always ready to go when it comes time for your first fire. Depending on the last campers who used it, there may be some additional safety measures you’ll need to take:

  • Clear all debris from around the fire pit, including garbage and grass. There should be a five-foot perimeter of soil around the campfire space
  • If there is no metal ring, circle the pit with rocks. If your fire grows in size, this will help keep it within the borders of the fire pit
  • Keep any flammable items far from the fire. This includes aerosol cans and pressurized container

Always Watch
Whether you’re camping alone, with friends or with your whole family, it’s easy to get distracted and walk away from the fire. Regardless of what is going on around you, make sure someone always has an eye on the fire.

Extinguish Before Bed
When it’s time for bed, you need to put out the fire. There are a number of ways you can do this, but throwing water or dirt on the fire is always the best option. Then, stir the embers around with a shovel to ensure another fire won’t start. Ideally, the coals should be wet and cold. 

For more information on campfire safety, please call the Carbondale Fire Department (618) 457-3234.

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