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Don’t get Burned: 10 Campfire Safety Tips

General Practice Areas Electrocution, Shocks, Explosions, Burns  

A bright bonfire lights the backyard in the summertime.

Cooler temperatures, leaves changing colors, football games . . . Fall is definitely here!  Now that it’s getting darker earlier, you may be thinking that it’s the perfect time of year to toast some marshmallows and warm up next to a campfire.  For those who are able to have them, campfires with friends can be a fun fall activity.  But before you light the fire, here are 10 campfire safety tips to help keep everyone safe at your next Fall gathering:

  1. Keep it contained.  Always arrange the wood for your fire within an enclosure, such as a burn barrel, fire ring, or small fire pit with rocks around it.
  2. Keep it away.  Make sure that you distance yourself from flammable objects, piles of firewood, rotten stumps, grass clippings, leaf piles, cars, and more.  The suggested distance is at least 10 feet in every direction.
  3. Look up.  There should be no power lines, overhanging limbs, or building structures above your fire.  The heat from a campfire reaches well above where the actual flames are visible.
  4. Check the forecast.  Avoid having a campfire on a windy day when embers and debris from your campfire could blow and set fire to unintended areas.
  5. Make sure there is a water source nearby.  Whether it’s a nearby pond or a garden hose, it’s important to have easy access to water in case of an emergency.
  6. Don’t use accelerants.  Let your fire grow and develop slowly and naturally.  Flammable liquids, such as gasoline, diesel fuel and lighter fluid, can result in excessive and unpredictable heat and flames.
  7. Check before you discard.  If you use a match to light your campfire, make sure that it has fully cooled before throwing it aside or in a nearby trashcan.
  8. Keep it small.  The recommended size for a campfire is only 2 ft x 2 ft x 2 ft.  Keeping the fire small and manageable will help to prevent things from getting out of control.
  9. Be on alert.  Supervise the fire, and supervise all children and pets that may be near the fire.  It only takes a second for serious burns to occur, so it’s important to be aware of potential hazards and to take steps to avoid them.
  10. Teach fire safety.  Make sure kids know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing would happen to catch on fire, and teach children how to use a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.


If you host a campfire at your home, it is your responsibility to make sure that your guests remain safe.  If you feel that you or someone you know has suffered serious burns as a result of someone else’s negligence, contact the Boughter Law Office to get the compensation that you deserve.


Image Credit:  By kallerna (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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