Top Tips for Having a Safe Campfire

Top Tips for Having a Safe Campfire

Feature Staff

Now that the weather is starting to warm up and the snow has begun to melt, an increasing amount of people are probably thinking about having a nice bonfire outside. Whether you’re planning on dusting off the tent and going camping or simply starting a bonfire in your backyard, it’s important to follow proper safety precautions. Failing to do so could result in serious consequences—such as starting a massive, destructive wildfire. To stay safe while enjoying your smores, follow these top tips for having a safe campfire.

Create a Fire Pit

One way to increase the safety of your bonfire is by creating a fire pit. If you don’t have a metal fire pit, you can make your own by digging a small hole and circling it with rocks. Doing so will help prevent any grass or other debris on the ground around your fire from igniting. When setting up your fire pit, make sure that it is at least ten feet away from any fuels such as dry leaves, debris, or stacks of wood.

Be Mindful of the Weather

Before setting up a bonfire, make sure to check the weather. If it’s a particularly windy day, you should consider forgoing your plans to have a bonfire as the breeze could create a highly dangerous situation. One strong gust of wind could blow burning debris or sparks onto you and your surrounding area. As a result, you could incur serious injuries, and any stray embers carried away in the wind could go on to start a disastrous wildfire.

Never Leave Your Campfire Unattended

Another top tip for having a safe campfire is to keep it closely monitored. One of the most common causes of wildfires is leaving campfires unattended. Even a slight breeze can cause embers to travel and catch nearby fuel on fire. As such, it’s important to have at least one person around who can quickly extinguish any stray flames that pop up. 

Keep a Fire Extinguisher or Large Pot of Water Nearby

One should never start a fire without a means to put it out. In some cases, a simple bonfire can quickly escalate and grow out of hand without warning. To ensure that you’re able to manage the blaze before it transforms into an uncontrollable beast, keep a fire extinguisher or large pot of water nearby.

Make Sure the Fire Is Fully Extinguished

When you’re done enjoying your bonfire, it’s important to extinguish it completely. Often, people think that a fire has been put out when in reality the coals are still hot and may cause the wood to reignite after they have left the premises. To ensure that a fire has been completely extinguished, check to make sure that it has stopped smoking and that the coals are cool enough to touch.