Practice Fire Safety This Spring
Winter and the pandemic have forced us indoors for the last few months. Now that the weather is getting warmer many of us are itching to get outside and spend time some much-needed time with friends. Campfires offer us a way to stay outside longer and social distance safely while we’re still battling Covid 19. However, there are some safety measures and state/city laws you should be aware of before gathering around the fire.
If you’re getting together for outdoor festivities it’s best to familiarize yourself with the kind of equipment approved by the EPA.
- deck and patio fireplaces
- patio hearths
- fire tables
- fire pits/kettles
- or similar devices
The safest place for any outdoor fire is a minimum of 25 feet away from the house or any other structures. It’s a good idea to practice this for your charcoal and propane grill as well.
Ohio and Kentucky state laws are pretty similar when it comes to having a small campfire in your backyard. The fire should be kept small. No more than three feet wide and two feet high according to Ohio and three feet wide and three high in Kentucky. Keep in mind that these regulations can change by county and city so be sure to check with your local fire department if you have any concerns about regulations or permits. The EPA also requires that your fire is fueled only by seasoned firewood, natural gas, or other clean-burning fuel. Burning trash is not permitted so keep those styrofoam plates out of there no matter how tempting it may be to watch them melt.
There are many steps to take to help prevent your small fire from getting out of control. Of these, the two most important are keeping a water source next to you and making sure that your fire is out completely when you’re done. Unattended fires, even if they’re just glowing embers, are one of the main causes of property damage and human injury. Firesideoutdoor.com states “greater than 80% of campfire related pediatric injuries were caused by day old campfires.” Before you go inside pour water over the fire or hose it down well to keep your friends, family, and property safe.
Basic safety tips include, but are not limited to the following:
- Make sure any and all low hanging branches are clear and removed from the area.
- Clear any dead leaves and dry twigs away from the area.
- Keep your pets and children a safe distance from the fire.
- Supervise any child roasting a marshmallow.
- Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Don’t shake or throw a burning marshmallow.
- If using a metal skewer handle with care as they can cause severe burns.
- Don’t use combustible liquids such as gasoline on the fire.
Following state laws and these suggested safety tips should keep you safe and cozy around the fire this spring, summer, and fall. In the unfortunate event that your fire gets out of hand even with safety measures in place, SERVPRO is here to help you handle the aftermath. You can count on us to help you through the process.