Going camping? There are things you should know when going camping to keep you and your family safe. According to the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control you should take the following precautions:

  • Check with authorities at your camping location for outdoor burning restrictions.  During especially dry seasons even recreational and cooking fires can be restricted. Check the weather forecast.
  • Ask if there is wood available or if you should bring your own.

If you are taking children you should do the following:

  • Talk with them about safety around camp fires.
  • Set a safety zone around the camp fire where all can sit and relax around the fire.
  • Designate a play area to keep bikes and other toys out of the safety zone.

When preparing the camp fire site you should do the following:

  • Avoid areas with overhanging branches, steep slopes or dry grasses.
  • Clear area of all debris, down to bare soil.
  • Construct a fire ring from rocks, keep the ring under four feet in diameter with a ten foot clearance around the perimeter.
  • Have a bucket of water, and shovel nearby to put out the fire when finished.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Burn only natural vegetation such as purchased cut wood.

When putting the fire out you should do the following:

  • When putting a campfire out, drown it with water. Stir the fire with water and dirt until all the ashes are cold to the touch.
  • Before leaving the area double check the camp fire to ensure it is out cold.

Learn more about camp fire safety from the NYS Homeland Security and Emergency Services, Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

The documents below provide important fire prevention guidelines.