As the weather cools down, many people look forward to the cozy warmth of a bonfire. However, it’s important to take the necessary safety measures to avoid accidents. Here is a detailed list of tips to help you keep your family and home safe while enjoying a bonfire:
- Location: Choose a location for your bonfire at least 50 feet away from your home, other structures, combustible materials, and anything that could easily catch fire. This distance helps to prevent the fire from spreading and causing damage.
- Surroundings: Avoid overhanging branches, dried grasses, and leaves. These materials can easily catch fire and cause the fire to spread uncontrollably.
- Emergency Preparation: Always have a bucket of water, hose, or other fire extinguishing tools close by, such as dirt or sand, to put out the fire if needed. Never use gasoline or any other accelerant to start the fire.
- Weather: Keep an eye on the weather conditions before starting a bonfire. Avoid lighting the fire if it’s windy or if there is a possibility of rain. – Supervision: Watch children and pets at all times. Teach your children about fire safety before starting the bonfire, and never leave the fire unattended.
- Fuel: Use firewood to fuel the fire. Avoid using materials such as leaves, twigs, or other small objects, as they can burn hotter than firewood and can cause the fire to get out of control.
- Extinguishing the Fire: When you’re ready to put out the fire, use water, dirt, or sand to extinguish all the embers. Stir the ashes to ensure all the embers are out, then douse them with water or sand. Don’t leave the bonfire until you know the fire is completely out.
- Burn Bans: Check with your local authorities to see if burn bans are in place. You can also check online at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services here.
By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a bonfire safely with your family and friends. Remember that safety should always be your top priority. Enjoy these cooler Florida nights!