Many people like to celebrate summer by having a cookout with family and friends. With more outdoor cookouts and celebrations comes the increased risk of fires caused by grilling mishaps. Follow these tips to keep your summer cookouts fire free.
* Make sure the space above your grill is clear of any overhanging branches & other flammable items.
* Keep your grill away from your home and other buildings or structures.
* Keep children and pets at least 3 feet away at all times.
* For gas grills, always open the lid prior to lighting to prevent gas buildup.
* Check the gas tank hose for potential leaks prior to use.
* For charcoal grills, be sure coals are completely cooled before disposing in a metal container.
* Use utensils with long handles to prevent burns and splatters. * Keep an eye on your grill, don’t walk away when it is lit.
Pick Your Spot Wisely: Use existing fire circles or pits if available. Do not build a fire in dry or windy conditions, especially if there are fire restrictions in place (check with local authorities). Build fires at least 15 feet away from tent walls, shrubs, or other flammable materials.
Prepare Your Pit: Choose a spot for your campfire that is downwind from your tent and gear, and protected from wind gusts. Clear a 10-foot-wide diameter area around your site, and make sure there are no limbs or branches hanging over your pit. Always circle the pit with rocks, or use an existing fire ring.
Build A Campfire: Once you have a prepared pit, you are ready to build the campfire. It is recommended to use three types of wood. Tinder, which is made of small twigs, dry leaves or grass, will get the fire started initially. Kindling, consisting of twigs smaller than one inch around, will help to light the larger pieces of wood. Fuel—the large pieces of wood—will provide the heat and sustained flames once the tinder and kindling are consumed.
This is the most important step! EXTINGUISH THE FIRE: Campers need to properly maintain and extinguish campfires when going to bed or leaving the area. If possible, let the campfire burn down to ashes. Pour water on the fire to drown all embers, not just the red ones. Once this is done, stir everything in the pit with a shovel and test for heat with the back of your hand.
To see if it is safe to have a fire go to the DNR Burning Restrictions page and check your community.