Tips for keeping your bonfire safe and under control.
The month of October generally incites a unique type of feeling and behavior among those who are affected by the sudden seasonal change. Whether you see the Fall as a means to spend more time inside away from the crisp, cool air, or the bright colors of nature encourage you to get outside and soak up the season
, one thing is for sure: October brings with it its own unique mix of smells and sights in areas all across the country.
However, there is one unique aspect of fall that triggers feelings and images of the season better than any other of its unique features-- outdoor bonfires.
This well-known feature of fall not only creates a unique, smoky smell which immediately incites thoughts of bright orange burning trees and jumping into piles of leaves in your yard, but bonfires are also a favorite seasonal activity
for campers and hikers all across the country.
As the temperature outside begins to drop, many overnight campers will begin crafting bonfires as a means to stay warm and liven up their camp sight. Unfortunately, as much fun as campfires can be for outdoor enthusiasts, they can be equally dangerous if proper precautions are not taken.
In order to shed light on just how important proper fire safety can be when sparking up a bonfire in the woods, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has declared this upcoming week, October 9th through the 15th, to be National Fire Prevention Week
. And, because we want our readers to not only enjoy their time spent on the trail, but also keep safe when heading outdoors, we have decided to honor this campaign with some basic tips that every outdoor enthusiast should know about bonfire safety:
Pick An Optimum Location
Whenever you light up a bonfire, you should ensure that you are at least 50 feet away from any buildings or structures, and remain in a clear, open area. Also, avoid building your fire near any low-hanging branches or brush, as these items could easily catch fire. The NFPA also suggests looking around at your conditions and environment before igniting a flame. You should always have a good knowledge of any dry conditions or prevailing winds that may affect your fire.
Make Sure Your Fire Is Contained
One of the best precautions that you can take towards building a safe fire is to create a proper fire pit surrounding the area
. Instead of lighting your fire on top of the ground, you should create a hole that is anywhere between 12 to 18 inches deep. Also, be sure that you keep your fire contained within that area. Never pile firewood too high or wide so that it outgrows the size of the fire pit.
Be Sure To Extinguish Your Flame
The single most important thing to remember about outdoor fire safety is always make sure that fire and coals are out cold before leaving your campsite or crawling into your tent for the night. Many times, the flame of the fire may appear that is has been put out, but embers, coals and sticks can still be lit. In order to ensure that your fire is properly put out, mix and stir the remains of the fire with dirt and water until all of the material is cooled.
A bonfire is a great activity for outdoor enthusiasts during the fall season
. However, it is important to remember that a fire needs constant care and attention in order to avoid any potential accidents. As long as you are properly prepared and take preventative steps towards crafting a safe fire, you can ensure that your next outdoor camping trip is nice and toasty, without all of the worry.