Fire safety tips for campers
strategies can decrease risks
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[August 31, 2012]
SPRINGFIELD -- The Office of the
State Fire Marshal reminds campers to practice fire safety when
using campfires. Fire safety is important when enjoying cooking,
setting up campfires or using lanterns outdoors.
The level of rainfall during the past couple of weeks has not
remedied the extreme drought conditions affecting Illinois. Fire
safety precautions are especially critical under drought conditions,
when there is a greater danger for brush fires.
"Camping should be
a time for families to enjoy each other in a safe environment," said
State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis. "I encourage campers to be aware
of rules and regulations and exercise common sense when grilling or
setting up campfires while enjoying outdoor activities."
In Illinois, 212 uncontrolled campsite fires were reported in
campgrounds between 2005 and 2012. All of these fires were avoidable
if the proper safety procedures had been followed. Sparks and embers
from campfires can travel several hundred feet and catch grass and
other combustibles on fire.
The following is a list of additional fire safety tips for
Be familiar with
the campsite rules on campfires or grilling. If a fire ring is
not available, select a site a safe distance away from dry
grass, trees and tents.
Choose a site
upwind from the sleeping area to prevent catching camping
equipment or other combustibles on fire.
fires in dry or windy conditions. Campfires should be at least
15 feet away from tents walls, shrubs or other flammable
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Do not use
gasoline or other petroleum based-liquids, as they can cause
Avoid using gel
fuel pots, as the product may explode and can cause serious
Keep your fire in
a manageable size and have a pail of sand or water nearby along
with an extinguisher and a shovel in case they are needed to
control a fire.
Never leave a
grill or a campfire unattended. Keep children at least 3 feet
away from grills or campfires. Keep matches and lighters away
Make sure that grilling areas and
campfires are completely extinguished before going to bed.
For more information on campground fire safety, visit
Office of the State Fire
received from the
Illinois Office of
Communication and Information]