Many people enjoy the warmer months by gathering with friends around a fire or toasting marshmallows with their families. If you’re planning on enjoying a bonfire this summer, keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Before starting a fire, check your city’s ordinances. You may need permission or a permit, depending on your location.
- Do not start fires under windy or dry conditions.
- Build the fire in an open area away from trees, houses, fences, trash, overhead cables, and tents.
- Note the position of the wind before starting the fire. Flying sparks can cause injury or ignite something unintended.
- Only burn dry wood; do not burn wet materials, painted items, furniture, or aerosols/canisters. Wet materials can cause excessive smoke, painted items often release hazardous fumes into the air, items such as furniture can cause large flames, and aerosols/canisters can explode.
- Do not use accelerants to light the fire. Lighter fluid or gasoline can cause serious burns and out-of-control flames.
- Keep the size of your fire reasonable. A large fire can quickly get out of hand.
- Keep a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
- Never leave the fire unattended.
- Be conscientious of alcohol consumption.
- Keep children and pets away from the fire.
- Extinguish the fire properly. Do not just let the flames burn out; soak the embers completely with water.