Many people enjoy the transition of summer to fall by gathering with friends around a fire or toasting marshmallows with their families. If you’re planning on enjoying a bonfire this summer, keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Before starting a fire, check your city’s ordinances. You may need permission or a permit, depending on your location.
  • Do not start fires under windy or dry conditions.
  • Build the fire in an open area away from trees, houses, fences, trash, overhead cables, and tents.
  • Note the position of the wind before starting the fire. Flying sparks can cause injury or ignite something unintended.
  • Do not use accelerants to light the fire. Lighter fluid or gasoline can cause serious burns and out-of-control flames.
  • Keep the size of your fire reasonable. A large fire can quickly get out of hand.
  • Keep a garden hose or a bucket of water nearby for emergencies.
  • Never leave the fire unattended.
  • Extinguish the fire properly. Do not just let the flames burn out; soak the embers completely with water.