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Campfire Safety Guidelines
Posted By Rex Vogel On May 29, 2012 @ 4:29 pm In Activities & Attractions,Campgrounds & RV Parks,Comfort at Camp,Family Camping,Holidays on the Road,Kid-Friendly Trips,Nature & Wildlife,Outdoor Recreation & Hiking,Roads & Routes,State & National Parks,Tent Campgrounds,Traveling Tips | No Comments
All it takes is one spark for things to go wrong.
A carelessly abandoned campfire or a campfire built without safe clearance can turn a small fire into a dangerous and fast-moving blaze. Be sure to build your campfire in a way that does not endanger anyone or the surrounding forest.
Check with local authorities on open-air burning restrictions and follow local burning regulations. Keep current on fire bans in the area.
Enjoy a safe campfire by following these campfire safety tips:
Be aware that as little as one second contact with a 158-degree F campfire can cause third degree, full thickness burns. The average campfire can get as hot as 932 degrees F in as little as three hours.
The majority of children are burned the morning after a fire from coming into contact with hot ashes or embers.
A campfire left to burn itself out or put out with sand only was still 212 degrees eight hours later. The buried coals and embers retain their heat underground like an oven. There is also a risk that the fire may spontaneously re-ignite. A child may mistake the pile of sand or dirt as a sand castle and attempt to play in it.
The temperature, less than four inches below the surface of the sand or dirt can be as high as 572 degrees F.
A campfire put out with water is reduced to 122 degrees F within 10 minutes of applying the water and reduced to 50 degrees F after eight hours. The safest way to extinguish a campfire is with water.
The above information is based on safety guidelines provided by Windsor (Ontario) Fire & Rescue Service.
How a Fire Burns
In order for fire to occur, four elements must be present:
Fuel (wood, paper, cloth, gas, oils, fiberglass)
Oxygen (air at between 17% and 19%)
Heat (brakes, engine compartment, exhaust system, transmission)
Chemical Chain Reaction (batteries, refrigerator)
If any one of these four components are missing, a fire cannot burn.
—Mac the Fire Guy
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