The taste of s’mores. The smell of smoke. The sound of stories shared among family and friends. Who doesn’t love a good summer bonfire?
Unfortunately, at INTEK, we see the downside of bonfires in South Dakota. During these warm summer months, we’re often called upon for fire damage restoration to repair the destruction caused by bonfires.
Don’t let that happen to you. To prevent an innocent bonfire from becoming a nasty house fire, follow these nine important bonfire safety tips.
Top 9 Bonfire Safety Tips
1. Review your local rules regarding bonfires
Some cities have “burn bans” or require burn permits for recreational fires, so contact yours to see whether you need one for your upcoming bonfire. Also, be sure to review the fire ordinances outlined by the City of Sioux Falls to make sure you’re obeying the law.
2. Warn your neighbors before having a bonfire
Not only will they be less likely to complain about the smoke and noise, but they’ll also be more prepared in case of an emergency.
3. Choose an appropriate site
Never place a bonfire beneath or near anything that could catch fire (including buildings, trees, or cables). As a rule of thumb, bonfires should be a minimum of five times their height away from any property.
4. Consider the weather
If that South Dakota wind’s a-blowing, think twice before lighting a fire. Sparks will be more likely to blow off and land on surrounding structures (or worse, people).
5. Watch what you burn
Wet or damp materials generate more smoke, so burn dry material only. Never throw flammable, hazardous, toxic, or explosive material (like accelerants, fireworks, plastic, garbage, chemicals, and empty containers) into the fire. Basically, if it’s not firewood, don’t burn it!
6. Be prepared for emergencies
Keep a bucket of water, hose, or fire extinguisher nearby so you can put out the fire if it gets out of hand. You may also want a rake or shovel close by to assist with extinguishing.
7. Supervise children and pets
Never take any chances. Keep little ones away from the flames, and teach your kids important fire safety tips, like walking behind chairs instead of in front of them.
8. Never leave the fire unattended
Keep an eye on your bonfire at all times. Make sure it maintains a manageable size – too small is better than too big!
9. Extinguish the fire completely
Before you call it a night, put out all flames and embers. In addition to dousing the fire with water, rake the coals to ensure they’re covered. Then rest easy!
Fire Damage Restoration in Sioux Falls and Yankton
We hope these bonfire safety tips help you have fun, safe bonfires so you don’t need our fire restoration services.
But if you do, know that we’re just a call away. Our professionals are skilled in restoring and repainting property, cleaning contents back to normal, and even working with insurance agents to get you the best, most cost-effective service possible.