With the festival and camping season upon us, the experts at Kiln Dried Wood company, Certainly Wood, share their tips for campfire safety this summer.
When people think of camping, they imagine a group of friends or family members gathered around a blazing campfire, laughing, telling stories or roasting freshly caught fish. The fire is not only the social hub of a campsite; it also keeps us warm and cooks our food.
For many people, building a safe, enjoyable campfire isn’t perhaps as easy as it seems. They light a match, start a small blaze and then watch as the bright flames turn into a smouldering pile of wood. Building a safe and successful campfire can be easy however, if you follow a few simple guidelines from Certainly Wood.
1. Assess the location
- If you are on a campsite, firstly check that the owner allows campfires
- Make sure you are in an open space and at least 3 metres away from your tent/ caravan, hedges, trees or properties.
- If possible use a firepit or fire basket to keep the fire off the ground. Sometimes you can rent these from the campsite or you could take your own.
- If the fire is on the ground, it is best to avoid burning the grass so make a small area about 1m in diameter. Remove about 6-7cms of turf in large pieces and put to one side. If the soil is really damp, it’s a good idea to make a bed of rocks or bricks on which to build the fire. If you have access to lots of stones, it’s often a good idea to build a ring of stones and have the fire inside this ring.
- Make sure you place the fire down-wind of your tent, and away from your neighbours.
- When camping NEVER take branches etc from hedgerows or trees as they probably don’t belong to you, they can cause damage and certainly will not be dry.
2. Starting the fire
- To build a successful campfire you will need to use a firelighter, kindling and dry logs and also make sure you have enough for the evening. Our new range of Flaming Logs, Flamers natural firelighters and Easy Fire packs are specially designed for using on campsites or at home in fire pits. They are kiln dried to less than 25% moisture. That means less smoke, no spitting and a campfire that will reach a much higher heat for cooking and keeping you cosy.
- Place the Flamers natural firelighter on the base, and place 8-10 sticks of kindling in a criss-cross over the flamer.
- Place one or two smaller logs onto the kindling so that it looks like a tipi or wig-wam
- Light the Flamer firelighter and when all the wood is burning really well add more logs as required.
- If you build a good base of heat to the fire, keeping it going all evening will be much easier.
- TIP – Only use dry logs, and make sure when you add more to the fire, always place at vertical angle and leaving lots of air gaps between each log.
3. Clearing the fire
- Always make sure you return the site to how you found it.
- Make sure the fire is completely extinguished and cooled. If in doubt cover it with water.
- Remove any burnt sticks etc and dispose of safely. Spread the remaining ash in situ, then replace the turf that you originally removed and refill the hole.
- Press down firmly using your feet and heh presto, you would never even know there had been a fire.
4. Stay safe
- Make sure you have access to a fire extinguisher nearby, otherwise a bucket of water handy.
- If you are using a firepit or BBQ whilst camping please remember never to take them into your tent or caravan. Even after you think the barbecue or fire has been extinguished, it will still give off carbon monoxide for many hours afterwards. This gas is clear and odourless but being poisonous can lead to collapse and potentially death in an enclosed space. For more information contact http://www.co-bealarmed.co.uk
- Log fires in Tipis which are well ventilated and specifically designed for fires are not a problem, neither are yurts with wood burning stoves that have a flue pipe out through the roof. However NEVER use charcoal BBQ’s in tipis or yurts.
- Always make sure your fire is just large enough to meet your needs; the smaller the fire, the safer it is. And once lit, your campfire should never be left unattended.
- Never have a campfire during long periods of drought when grass and hedges are brown and tinder dry.
For more details on the Certainly Wood summer campfire range visit www.certainlywood.co.uk,
Notes to Editors
Ecological energy fuelled by nature. Certainly Wood is a family business based in rural Herefordshire. It prides itself on running a low carbon business that produces kiln dried firewood products using sustainable processes. The wood is quality assured under the HETAS scheme and is sourced within a 40 mile radius of their estate. The company offers clients a 100% quality guarantee. Managing Director Nic Snell is happy to offer interviews and expert opinion on the firewood industry.