Starting a campfire serves many important purposes. In addition to keeping you warm, a campfire serves as s source of heat for preparing food as well as purifying water. Even if you are having a simple campfire at an RV park or are cooking with coals on a grill, knowing how to properly set up the fire and extinguish it when you are done will help to ensure everyone has fun while remaining safe. To that end, here are five simple steps for safely keeping a campfire or grill.
Step #1: Choose the Right Location
If you are setting up a campfire or grill at an RV park, there may already be fire pits or built-in grills available for you to use. Whether you are using a fire pit or grill that has been provided or you are setting up your own pit or grill, it is important to make sure there are no low-hanging branches hanging over the area where you will be starting your fire. The area should also be located away from brush, bushes and anything else that could accidentally catch on fire. Tents, foods, chairs and other debris should be kept outside of an eight to ten-foot radius around the pit or grill.
Step #2: Double-Check if Necessary
If you are new to starting campfires or lighting grills, it is a good idea to ask the campground ranger to inspect your area to ensure you have properly set it up and removed all of the necessary debris and other items. The ranger will also be able to tell you if the grill is properly set up for lighting. If you are unsure, it is always best to error on the side of safety by asking.
Step #3: Be Prepared to Put Out Large Flames
Even after carefully inspecting the area and removing items that could potentially catch on fire, a big gust of wind or adding a new piece of wood to your fire can cause your flames to grow larger than anticipated. To be prepared for this type of unexpected flame growth, you should always keep a bucket of water or dirt nearby. Even simply having a shovel that can be used to dig dirt and throw it in on the flames of your campfire is helpful. With these items, you can reduce the flames or put out the fire completely if it becomes a safety hazard.
Step #4: Remain Vigilant
After building a campfire or getting your grill going, it is easy to get swept away with the fun that you are having with your friends and family. While you should certainly enjoy yourself, you need to keep in mind that fires can easily get out of control and cause serious damage if not properly maintained. Therefore, you should always keep an eye on the fire, particularly if pets and children are part of your group.
Step #5: Extinguish Properly
Once you are done with the campfire or grill, you need to be sure to extinguish ithe fire completely by throwing either dirt or water on top of it. You should then stir them embers to make sure they will not relight into another fire. If you used a charcoal grill, the coals should be removed and properly disposed of by placing them in a hot coal container. If you are not sure where the container is located, ask your ranger or groundskeeper for more information.