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Summer nights are perfect for gathering around the campfire with family and friends. Whether in your backyard, a campsite, or out in nature, it is important to know how to enjoy a fire safely. These tips will help you keep your next fire safe and ensure you make nothing but good memories for years to come.

Fire Pit Setup

It is important to have a proper pit/area to setup your fire. Most campgrounds will already have a pit available if campfires are permitted. A good fire ring should be on level ground over gravel or dirt, NEVER grass. The area around the ring should be cleared, at least 10 ft around, of any extra wood, cars, tents, etc. prior to lighting the fire. Be sure that you do not light your fire under any overhanging branches or enclosures.

Lighting Your Fire

Never use flammable liquids, such as gasoline, lighter fluid, or diesel fuel when lighting a fire, as they can explode and spread quickly. Wood that has been seasoned for 6 months or more is the best fuel for a fire. Avoid using construction materials and plywood, which can give off toxic carcinogen fumes when burned. Be aware that softwoods, like pine, tend to crackle more and send off more sparks than seasoned hardwoods, such as oak or hickory. Keep your fire small. A good rule of thumb is 2’ x 2’ x 2’. Always be sure someone is near the fire and is watching it, especially if there are pets or small children in the area.

Extinguishing a Fire

When putting out a fire, allow time for it to burn down partly, and then drown the flame completely in water. It is important to extinguish the hot coals as well, as they can relight and ignite a new fire while hot. Dowse the coals wholly in water and stir them to ensure they are all thoroughly put out.

There is nothing quite as relaxing as sitting around a campfire on a cool night, but they can be very dangerous if not handled properly. These tips will ensure your marshmallow roasting fun isn’t ruined by an out of control fire, so you can focus on making good memories with the ones you love.

If you will be having fires in your backyard, and are interested in getting coverage to protect your home in case of an accident, please call 724-929-2300 to discuss your insurance needs with our friendly agents, who will get a free quote tailored to you.