Whether your children are exploring the great outdoors at camp, or you
and your family are planning a relaxing adventure in the woods, you're
looking forward to fresh air, wildlife sightings, s'mores and ghost
stories around the campfire. To ensure both your safety and the safety
of everyone else in the park or campground, here are 3
principles for campfire safety.
1. Do due diligence and prep work before you make the fire.
Don't wait until the sun falls level with the horizon to gather your
firewood. Dig your pit away from overhanging branches, and put a circle
of rocks and stones around it. Clear away any shrubbery or debris that
could catch on fire, and create a "moat" of sand and dirt (5
foot radius) from the center of the fire. Have a bucket of water nearby
as well as a shovel. Keep your wood and kindling far from the source of
the fire - upwind from it! - so it doesn't accidently blow into the
fire or catch flame due to the migration of heat. Also, clear the area
of any food, chairs, packs and tents.
2. Light and tend the fire with vigilance.
Make sure, for instance, the match that you use to light the fire extinguishes
completely before discarding it. Keep children at a safe distance, and
be on the lookout for sparks and smoke blowing off the fire. For healthy
adults and healthy children, a small amount of campfire smoke will usually
not prove harmful. But campfire smoke contains harmful aerosolized chemicals,
including carbon monoxide and dust and other organics. These can cause
lung irritation and provoke asthma attacks. Be watchful. Just like you
might select a designated driver to drive to you home after a party; so,
too, should you consider choosing a designated "campfire watcher"
who will be sober enough to ensure fire safety and put the fire out.
3. Put out the fire before going to sleep.
After long night of s'mores, scary stories and funny conversations,
it might be tempting to let the fire "die out' after you get
into the tent. Avoid doing this! Make sure the fire is completely out
and that the coals are cold. Just because you don't see any fire actually
actively burning in the pit doesn't mean that the pit isn't dangerous.
The coals might still be hot; they could ignite kindling or leaves that
blow into the pit overnight. Or a camper could accidently step on the
uncooled fire pit during a late night bathroom excursion and get burned
in the process.
If someone you love suffered an injury or illness due to someone else's
inaction or wrongdoing, our
Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation effectively.
Fire and smoke hazards persist inside the home as well. Learn what you
need to do to protect your family:
Smoke Alarms: The Most Efficient Way to Prevent Home Fire Tragedies.