Celebrating the Fourth of July with bonfires is a tradition dating back to the nineteenth century, and it’s still an annual summer event for some today. But safety should always be the top priority.
Follow these helpful tips to maintain a safe atmosphere while you gather around the fire with friends and family.
Build your own fire pit
- Bonfires should be at least 50 feet away from your home. Laws vary by location, so check locally or with the US Fire Administration.
- If you live in a region that is prone to droughts and dry summers, you may want to consider forgoing the bonfire. Otherwise make sure to look up safety tips that are specific to your area.
- Build your fire in an area that’s far away from dry grass, leaves, and low-hanging branches, which can cause fires to spread.
- Start digging a pit that will be 2 feet wider than the fire, and at least 12 to 18 inches deep. Never build a fire on flat ground, which can cause the fire to spread.
- Surround the outside of the circle with larger rocks, and line the bottom of it with smaller rocks.
Essential fire safety tips
- The key to a safe bonfire is to make sure you can manage it all times. Keep it small, and never leave the fire unattended.
- An adult should always build, maintain, and properly extinguish the fire, and keep an extinguisher nearby in case of emergency.
- Do not burn waste. It is harmful to the environment and your health.
- Keep plenty of water and a shovel close by to be able to douse the fire when you’re finished. Douse with water, stir the fire with a shovel, and douse it again. Repeat as many times as necessary.
- Make a rule that anyone near the fire must wear proper shoes.
- Once safety measures are in place, enjoy your campfire with s’mores and a scary story!
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