Camping and Fire Safety
Camping is a favorite summer pastime for many families. Whether camping in a tent, trailer, or RV, fire safety should be a key component of your planning.
CONSIDER THESE STATISTICS:
- According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USDAFS), four out of five forest fires are started by people.
- In 2000, one out of every five person-caused wildfire was started by a campfire that got out-of-control, according to the Bureau of Land Management.
- In 2002, more than 6.9 million acres of land burned as a result of wildfires.Fun and Safety Can Go Hand-in-Hand
From singing songs to toasting marshmallows, a campfire is a key element of the camping experience. Before heading out on your camping adventure, take time to learn how to build,control and extinguish campfires and review other fire safety precautions.
HERE ARE A FEW SIMPLE STEPS TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY'S CAMPING TRIP SAFE AND FUN:
- Before building a campfire, check with rangers or the campground office for restrictions,especially during the summer when vegetation is dry and campfires may be restricted.
- Look for signs that warn of potential fire hazards in national parks and private campgrounds. Always obey park regulations.
- If campfires are permitted, select a location that is downwind and away from your tent.Clear all vegetation and dig a small pit surrounded by rocks.
- Never use gasoline to start a campfire.
- Never leave a fire unattended and do not allow children to play near or around a campfire. Always put campfires out before sleeping or leaving the campsite.
- Keep dirt and/or water nearby to extinguish the campfire before sleeping. For emergency use, pack a fire extinguisher with your camping gear. Select a multi-purpose extinguisher that is large enough to put out a small fire, but not so heavy as to be difficult to handle.
- Use only battery operated camping equipment, such as flashlights or lanterns inside the tent. Never use liquid-filled heaters or lanterns, matches, candles, open flames or a barbeque grill inside a tent as they can produce the deadly gas, carbon monoxide.
- When cooking, keep a fire extinguisher within reach. Use a fire extinguisher when a fire is small and contained and only after the park ranger has been notified of the fire.
- Do not discard lit cigarettes or matches on the ground or into vegetation. Dry vegetation can be quickly sparked into a fire