Do your summer plans include camping or outdoor cooking? If so, make sure your plans also include outdoor fire safety measures. Each year, careless visitors start hundreds of brush and forest fires at parks and forestry areas.
Many fire dangers and safety problems are associated with outdoor fires. Burn injuries and fire losses sometimes occur from recreational bonfires, campfires and barbecues. Adults who have experience constructing and managing large outdoor fires should supervise recreational bonfires. Sometimes a permit for legal burning is required. If in doubt, call the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Prevention Division at (816) 784-9100.
Using a campfire
- Select a site downwind and away from buildings, grass or trees
- Make a clearing 10 feet around the fire area
- Place rocks around a campfire
- Don't use gasoline; insead, ignite the fire with kindling or fire starter
- Wear tight-fitting wool or cotton clothing while working near a campfire
- Extinguish a campfire completely when retiring at night or leaving the area
- Keep a pail of water or sand nearby
Using a gas barbecue grill
- Check for leaks or loose fittings
- When you locate a site for a barbecue, make sure nothing hangs overhead.
- When lighting, light the match first. Then, turn on the gas supply and place match in ignition hole
- Never store propane or butane in the house, garage or inside a recreational vehicle
- Shut the fuel off at the bottle when done using the grill
Other precautions while camping
- Use a tent that is flame resistant
- Use only battery-operated lights inside
- Place your tent upwind and away from cooking area or campfire
- Fill a stove or lantern before use. Wipe away spills and allow to air dry before lighting
- Wait for a stove or lantern to completely cool before refilling
Using a recreational vehicle (RV)
- Use only electric or battery-operated lights inside recreational vehicle
- Keep combustibles away from heat sources
- Make sure there is a smoke detector installed
- Have a fire extinguisher close at hand
The Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department would be happy to meet with your group or organization to discuss fire safety. To schedule a visit, please contact the Fire Prevention Division at (816) 784-9100.