office of the State Fire Marshal urges campers to practice fire
Following safety tips can prevent outdoor cooking fires
and serious accidents
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[May 31, 2014]
SPRINGFIELD – With the season for
outdoor cooking and camping trips now here, the Office of the State
Fire Marshal (OSFM) is encouraging campers to consider fire safety
as a priority to ensure a safe and fun experience.
“Camping and other outdoor activities that involve building a
fire should be enjoyable for the entire family. It’s important for
campers to be aware of rules and regulations governing open fires.
Everyone should use common sense and keep fire safety in mind when
cooking or engaging in other activities that involve fire,” said
State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis.
Campers that fail to follow adequate fire safety measures can
jeopardize the safety of themselves, their friends and loved ones.
Lack of caution can also cause wild fires, brush fires, serious
damage to natural resources and personal property. Fires should
never be left unattended and campers should check with state parks,
campsites and recreation areas for rules on cooking and campfires.
More than 200 uncontrolled campsite fires were reported in Illinois
between 2005 and 2012. Many of those fires could have been prevented
if proper safety procedures were followed.
The following is a list of additional fire safety tips for campers:
- 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 downwind from the sleeping area to prevent
catching camping equipment or other combustibles on fire.
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- Avoid building fires in dry or windy conditions.
Campfires should be at least 15 feet away from tents walls,
shrubs, or other flammable materials.
- Do not use gasoline or other petroleum based-liquids, as
they can cause dangerous explosions.
- Avoid using gel fuel pots, as the product may explode
and can cause serious injuries.
- Keep your fire at a manageable size and always 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 three feet away from grills or campfires.
Keep matches and lighters away from children.
- Make sure that grilling areas and campfires are
completely extinguished before going to bed.
For more information on campground fire safety, please visit
[Text received; THE OFFICE OF THE
STATE FIRE MARSHAL]