With autumn in full force and winter just around the corner, many of us have taken to the outside to enjoy the cool weather sitting around a bonfire. Bonfires can be a great activity for the whole family, but it’s important to remember the dangers of open flames and how to responsibly have a bonfire!
- You should always either use a fire pit purchased from the store or dig your own – Fire pits are a crucial part of keeping a bonfire contained where you want it to be and not have it spread, be sure also to clear away brush from around the fire pit as well
- Make sure your fire is a safe distance from houses, trees, powerlines, or anything that can be affected by the heat
- Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose close by – Accidents happen and being able to address them immediately is how to prevent things from getting worse
- Use newspaper and small kindling to get the fire started, NOT gasoline or other accelerants
- Never spray aerosols or toss canisters into the fire – The heat can make these containers explode and throw burning embers everywhere
- Limit your fire size – It’s tempting to make a big fire, but you should make sure to keep your fire to a manageable size, no bigger than a few feet around
- When you’re done be sure that the fire is completely extinguished – Stir the ashes around and use more water than you think you need to ensure there is nothing still smoldering, embers can stay smoldering, hidden under a bed of ashes for hours and can be relit by the wind unexpectedly
Bonfires are a lot of fun and a great way to spend time outside, just be sure you are taking the proper precautions to do so safely.