Outdoor Fire & Burn Safety Reminders as Memorial Day Approaches

Be sure to keep your family and friends safe!

The Memorial Day holiday brings with it the excitement of summer’s start and the many outdoor celebrations that happen during warmer weather. These events and activities can also present dangers related to fires, and residents are encouraged to review fire and burn prevention tips, provided by Camp I Am Me.

“This is the time of year where residents can take advantage of being outdoors, as they attend barbecues, go camping or enjoy other activities where fire or other burn dangers can be present,” said Camp I Am Me President, and recently retired Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District Chief James Kreher. “We urge everyone to be vigilant and follow basic safety tips and precautions.”

Fire and Burn Prevention Tips:

  • Supervise children and pets while the campfire/fire pit is burning.
  • Create a 3-foot “Kid-Free Zone” around the campfire/fire pit.
  • Always have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel with dirt or sand that can extinguish a fire.
  • Apply water to all coals or remaining flames in fires when putting them out, and make sure there is no heat, glow, or flames remaining.
  • Never leave a fire unattended, even for a short period of time.

Grilling Safety Tips:

  • Closely monitor food cooking on a grill.
  • Turn the grill off promptly when cooking is done, and let it cool completely before returning it to its original location.
  • Grills should remain at least 3 feet away from anything that can burn, including deck railings, overhanging branches, and homes.
  • If using starter fluid to ignite charcoal, only use charcoal starter fluid – do not use other flammable liquids.

Firepit and Outdoor Burning Tips:

  • Check with your fire department or local municipality for restrictions before starting an open-air fire, recreational fire, or outdoor cooking fire.
  • When they are permitted, bonfires or yard waste fires need to be at least 50 feet from anything that can burn.
  • Campfires need to be at least 25 feet away from any structure that can burn.
  • Only use fire pits outdoors and keep them at least 10 feet away from anything that can burn.

Campfire accidents send thousands of people to emergency rooms with burn injuries each year.

“By reviewing basic safety tips, we can all work together to prevent injuries and damage to property that can result from outdoor recreational activities that include fires,” said Philip Zaleski, Executive Director of Camp I Am Me. “Camp I Am Me’s mission is to educate residents around our state so we can all create lasting memories with the people we care about as safely as possible.”

To learn more about outdoor fires and other fire safety and burn prevention information to protect your family and home, visit www.ifsa.org/prevention-resources/.