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OUTDOOR FIRE SAFETY / FIREPLACE SAFETY

The camp fire is always one of the favorite attractions at any camping event, and sitting in front of a crackling fireplace is a wonderful way to spend a cold winter's evening. These events can also turn to tragedy rather quickly if proper care isn't used. As a public service, we have put this page here on our site to remind everyone of the outdoor fire safety codes and rules that must be followed in order to help protect your loved ones as well as wildlife and vegetation in the great outdoors. Using common sense and following these important fire safety rules and tips will help you keep yourself and your loved ones safe while enjoying a fire.



 

 

General Outdoor Fire Safety Rules
The rules for fire safety in general are pretty basic for any type of fire. If you have never built an outdoor fire before, We recommend having someone along with experience in building and managing a fire, and that person should remain sober and alert at all times while the fire iss burning. There are several safe ways to start a fire, and common sense must be be used. Be sure to always use the proper fire tending tools and have a way to extinguish your fire properly and completely in a hurry in case an emergency situation arises.

Enjoy your fire, but remember to keep safety in mind at all times!

Always remember....in case of an actual or suspected fire, get everyone to safety before calling for help or attempting to extinguish the flames. Fires spread very fast!

Campfire Safety
Follow all local, state and federal fire laws and ordinances. Have a permit if it is required.
If a fire ring isn't provided, choose a safe location to build your fire, at least 10 ft. from trees & undergrowth.
NEVER start a fire in a strong wind.
Pitch your tent at least 15 feet from your campfire, away from wind direction.
Supervise children AT ALL TIMES when camp fires are burning or being ignited.
When near campfires, wear snug fitting, tightly woven, clothing. Short sleeves are recommended.
Make sure everyone knows how to put out a clothing fire - STOP, DROP and ROLL.
Keep a fire extinguisher, shovel, and a large container of water available (close to the fire) at all times.
Maintain at least a three-foot clear area, free of leaves, dry grass, pine needles, etc., around the fire.
Store extra firewood at least 6 feet away from the burning fire.
Never freshen a dying fire with a liquid starter. Explosions can result. (KindleMagic works great for this)
Keep your campfire small. If you try to build the world's largest fire, you might actually succeed!

Putting Your Campfire Out
This is the most important part of any outdoor fire. Always be certain that fires and coals are out COLD DEAD before leaving your campsite or going to sleep in your tent. To put your campfire out, begin by letting your campfire burn down. Then, drown the fire with water. Make sure all embers, coals, and sticks are wet. Move rocks---there may be burning embers underneath. Mix and stir the remains with dirt and water; then add more water and dirt, and stir again. Be sure all burned material has been extinguished and cooled. If you do not have water, use dirt. Mix enough soil or sand with the embers. Continue adding and stirring until all material is cool. Feel all materials with your bare hand. Make sure that no roots are burning. Do not bury your coals---they can smolder and break out into a wildfire!

Bonfire Safety
The arrival of fall means bonfires will soon be burning large and bright. While bonfires are a lot of fun when planned and controlled, they are NOT RECOMMENDED for most camp sites. They can be downright deadly if there is no organization, teamwork, emergency planning, and if outdoor fire safety rules are not strictly adhered to. Let's not forget the bonfire tragedy that killed 12 students at Texas A&M's annual bonfire in November of 1999. Even those experienced in handling fires can run into trouble, as was the case for two firefighters in upstate New York who lost their lives in a bonfire lighting accident just a few years ago.

When building a bonfire, ALL outdoor fire safety codes must be followed. In many cases, a special permit is required. A bonfire should never be built anywhere close to anything flammable. A wide, open space is a must, and should be clear of any overhead dangers such as wires, tree limbs, etc. A bonfire should never be the sole responsibility of one person. Emergency plans should be laid out ahead of time and persons assigned to specific tasks if things should get out of control. It should be decided ahead of time what will be burned in the bonfire, and who will be in charge of the fire once it is lit. NEVER allow bonfire guests to throw things into the fire. And always make certain that the fire is out COLD DEAD before leaving the bonfire area.

Grill & Lantern Fire Safety
Handle flammable liquids with care.
Store flammable liquids only in metal containers, preferably safety cans.
Store all flammable liquids at a safe distance from your tent, camper, or any source of heat/open flame.
Use flammable liquids only for their intended purpose - NOT to start a fire.
Fill lanterns and stoves a safe distance from campfires, grills and other sources of heat/open flame.
Use a funnel when pouring flammable liquids, and clean up any spills immediately.
Carry only a minimal amount of flammable liquids, and make sure all caps are tight.
Handle tanks of compressed flammable gas with caution. Follow the precautions indicated on the tank.
Use only the recommended fuel for lanterns, stoves, etc. Do NOT use gasoline.
Consider purchasing lantern fuel at or near your destination, to reduce the risk of fire while traveling.
Make sure the barbecue stand is level and steady. Keep a water container nearby when the coal is burning.
When cooking is over, soak the coals to prevent their re-ignition.
Never keep damp or wet charcoal in an unventilated area. Drying may cause spontaneous combustion.
Avoid using fuel lanterns and stoves inside your tent.

Tent Fire Safety
Read the labels before purchasing a tent. Buy only a flame-resistant tent.
Pitch your tent at least 15 feet from your campfire, away from wind direction.
Take along a battery powered smoke detector to keep inside each tent.
Have an escape plan, and be prepared to cut your way out of the tent if a fire occurs.
Use only battery-operated lights in or near tents and campers.
Keep a fire extinguisher or container of water available at all times.
Maintain at least a 3 foot clear area, free of leaves, dry grass, pine needles, etc., around tents.
Never use candles, matches, or fuel lanterns in or near a tent; use a flashlight.
Extra care should be excised when using electricity and lighting in or near a tent.
When using heaters, keep them away from walls, pillows, camping chairs, and other contents of the tent.
Do not attempt to use a fire inside your tent for warmth.

Camper/RV Fire Safety
Be sure you have a battery powered smoke detector inside your camper or trailer.
Use only electrically operated lights in trailers.
Keep cooking and heating equipment in safe operating condition. Inspect before each outing.
Check and maintain gas connections and fume vents.
Keep combustibles away from cooking and heating equipment.
Have a fire extinguisher available at all times. Keep it by the camper/trailer exit door.
Develop a fire escape plan with your family.
Extinguish all smoking materials before going to bed, and soak with water.

Always remember....in case of an actual or suspected fire, get everyone to safety before calling for help or attempting to extinguish the flames. Fires spread very fast!


Indoor Fireplace Safety

When the summertime campfires and fall bonfires become a thing to remember, and the winter chill moves your open fire activities indoors to the fireplace, it is just as important to follow some basic fire safety rules. Although there are several safe ways to start your fireplace fire, we recommend using KindleMagic for starting all types of fires. It is safe, fast, effective, and best of all, very easy to use. Whatever method you prefer to use, keep safety in mind at all times!

Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
The most recent statistics show that fireplace fires cause more than 68,000 home fires annually. Without proper maintenance and cleaning, your newspaper kindling could quickly turn into a disaster, causing thick black smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) to enter your home, endangering the lives of you and your loved ones.

Your fireplace is the perfect way to keep warm and cozy as the weather begins to cool. Keep friends and family safe and healthy by following these tips to prevent a fireplace fiasco:

Call A Professional
Have a professional chimney sweep inspect and clean your fireplace and chimney every year. It may not appear as though anything is wrong, but there's a whole lot more going on inside the chimney than you may think. Visit the Chimney Safety Institute of America at www.csia.org for information on contacting a chimney sweep professional in your area.

Keep Critters Out
Birds and other animals like to live in warm areas when the weather gets cooler, and the chimney is one of the first places they'll call "home." Install a chimney cap to prevent animals and debris from getting in. Construction materials range from practical wire mesh to more elaborate and decorative brass and bronze. A visit to your local hardware store will help you find one that meets your needs while keeping unwanted visitors at bay.

A Flue That Works For You
When lighting a fire, always be sure that the flue has been opened properly, and likewise, make sure it closes tightly after the fire has been extinguished. This not only minimizes health and safety risks but can also lower energy costs by reducing the influx of cold air into the house. To test how airtight your flue is, close it all the way and feel inside the fireplace for drafts - if you can feel cool air coming through and cracks or crevices, your flue may require repair or replacement. Chimney professionals will often recommend installing a damper on top of the chimney, which can be opened and closed from the inside and will seal out drafts when the fireplace is not in use.

Always remember....in case of an actual or suspected fire, get everyone to safety before calling for help or attempting to extinguish the flames. Fires spread very fast!

 

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