Campfires are one of the things that make camping interesting. However, building campfires come with responsibility. In the U.S., 90% of wildfires are started, with people.
A campfire that is not properly built, maintained, or extinguished can easily become disastrous to the people or the animals around that area. Although campfires are enjoyable, learning how to enjoy your campfire safely and responsibly is crucial.
Tips for Enhancing Campfire Safety
Ensure You Know the Rules
Before you start any campfire, ensure you are well conversant with the regulations of the campground in which you are planning to build the campfire. Since rules change, ensure you have current rules and regulations of the campsite you are looking to visit. A campground that allowed campfires some years ago may temporarily bun them because of the high risk of wildfires. Ensure you check on the signboards and websites to get updated rules and regulations.
Use A Pit to Build Your Campfire
Most campgrounds offer pits in which you can build campfires. Ensure you only build your campfire in the pit. While most campfires provide pits, others allow campfires but do not provide pit for use. In such cases, ensure you at least dig a pit in an open area, away from overhanging branches, power lines, or any other thing that could easily catch fire.
Build A Safe Campfire
Once you have prepared your pit, now it’s time to build a safe campfire. Use dry leaves or grass to start the fire. Add kindling, small twigs, and sticks whose diameters are less than an inch. As you build the fire, add bigger pieces of wood on to it. Your campfire doesn’t have to roar; just a small fire surrounded by rocks is good to go. You will get enough heat as the fire burns.
Watch the Match
Of course, you have to use a match to start your campfire. But after using it, ensure it is extinguished before disposing of it. You can either throw it inside the burning fire or use water to extinguish it. Don’t ever think of using gas, kerosene, or any other flammable liquids to start your campfire. This could cause hazards to you, animals, and the land surrounding you.
Use Local Firewood
You may want to bring firewood with you to the campground, because it is expensive onsite. This is however not a good idea. You know why? because you could be carrying tree-killing insects unawares, and bring to the forests where they weren’t before. So, use the closest firewood you can find, and avoid carrying your own.
Ensure You Have Water as You Start the Campfire
Never start building a campfire without having a bucket of water and a shovel anywhere near you. But why do you need water and a shovel? What are they used for? Well, the use of water could be obvious. You will need to douse any flames that are trying to run away. And the shovel? You can use this to throw sand on any flames that get out of your fire ring.
Pay Attention to The Wind
A strong wind could spread your campfire in an instant. So, to ensure the wind doesn’t cause a wildfire, keep anything flammable, including unused firewood, against the wind and ensure they are at least 15 feet away from the campfire.
Never Leave the Campfire Alone
A campfire should never be left alone, even for a minute. Did you know that even a small breeze can spread the fire in just seconds? Keeping an eye on the campfire is essential for your safety.
Put the Campfire Out Properly
Extinguish the fire properly when you are done with it. Dump water on the fire and stir with a shovel, then dump more water in the fire. Ensure the campfire is cold by the time you decide to leave it unattended. You may find it difficult to extinguish a larger log, so, ensure you soak them with water. Never bury coals from the fire as they can smolder and start burning.
A few more safety tips:
1. Always Check The Weather Forecast Beforehand:
You may not always come across other people while camping so there are chances you might find yourself alone with no one to come to your aid if the weather worsens. A thunderstorm for example might tragically dampen the mood and bring the fun and games to a standstill. If you want to avoid that just check for clear skies and sunny days ahead and set out to have a great weekend.
2. Do Not Leave Food Lying Around:
No matter what happens do not leave food lying around out in the open. After you are done eating just pack it all up so the smell does not waft around, attracting the unwanted attention of bears for instance. They may look adorable but they can be potentially dangerous if they get too close. It is also a good idea to have your camp set up far away from berry patches as bears usually forage for them and might stumble onto your site along the way.
3. Protect Yourself From The Insects:
Insects may be tiny little critters but they can leave pretty nasty bites all over your body. Wearing less clothing may seem like a good idea under the scorching sun but when the insects start creeping onto your skin, you just might change your mind. Be sure to wear long sleeved-clothes and lather insect repellent all over. You should probably expect buckets of sweat streaming out of your pores so make sure that the insect repellent does not dissolve easily in water. You will probably have to put those eyes to good use and keep checking for any insects that might have crept under your clothes too.
4. Stock Up On Water:
Finding shelter out in the open is not the same as sitting in an air-conditioned room. You cannot be ignorant when it comes to the blistering heat that is bound to be encountered during the midday. You may also get up to a bit of exploration while you are there to explore nature’s finest. This entails an exertion of energy that needs to be replenished from time to time. Have water bottles on you at all times so you can keep yourself fresh and feeling cool at all times.
How to Protect Ourselves from Fire?
According to experts, more than 3000 people die every year from accidental fires. You can see more cases of fire in household properties than that of industries. A typical house fire can have many reasons; they can be due to electric wires, due to heating appliances, due to spontaneous combustion, and many more. Let us look at the tips that can help us protect ourselves from fire.
Imagine you are cooking something in your kitchen, and your doorbell rings. You went to see who that is, but you forgot to turn off your stove. This careless act can be a reason for causing a household fire. Fire safety and prevention are some of the essential practices that can help you protect yourself from unpredictable harm. Therefore, we suggest turning off or unplugging your kitchen utensil when you are not using them.
Use your Heating Appliances Carefully
Nowadays, most of us have chimney and furnaces in your homes. Moreover, there are many people who have electric fireplaces installed in their houses.
These artificial fireplaces and furnaces have kerosene inside it, causing a fire if there is any inflammable substance near them. Therefore, we suggest you take care of this equipment by clearing it with kerosene or petrol overabundance. Moreover, you must be careful while lighting a furnace and always look for the outlets as pressure increases can misbalance the flashpoint temperature.
Be Careful while smoking and installing electrical wires.
Nowadays, most people smoke. According to studies, more than 75% of today’s population is prone to smoking. These people love to smoke in their homes. However, many of them do not have ashtrays and throw their ash here and there.
Moreover, they throw their cigarettes nearby their homes or dustbins without checking them. There might be a chance that these cigarettes are still lit. This practice can be one of the primary reasons for a household fire as these cigarettes are inflammable and can cause a fire when they contact the nearby material.
Another reason can be faulty electrical wires. You must always check for short-circuiting and must install proper cables for your electrical appliances. This practice can help you save your house and family from a household fire.
Blow out the candles and clean the clutter
A candle can seem a petty issue for you, but it can be a big deal for your house. Imagine you light a candle when your power cuts, and suddenly, you see that your curtains are burning. This is because you have lighted a candle near an inflammable material. Therefore, we suggest you light a candle away from any inflammable material. Moreover, it would help if you off the candles when you are not using it.
Another reason for catching a household fire is the accumulation of clutter. This clutter is the waste material that gets accumulated in your house. This clutter can contain inflammable substances like newspapers and magazines, which comes in contact with flammable substances and catches fires. These types of fires are accidental and unpredictable and can cause tremendous misfortune.
Fire is the result of rapid oxidation of oxygen molecules with volatile components like nitrogen or petrol. Fire can cause tremendous misfortune to your business or household properties. The leading cause of the household fire is the carelessness of the owners. Other reasons may include temperature imbalance, improper outlets, accumulation of clutter, presence of inflammable substances, etc.