Campfires can be fun, but they can also be very dangerous. In this post we provide a few ideas on how to teach kids to be safe around a campfire. Learning fire safety is a life skill that kids will carry with them into adulthood.
We recently had a customer at Campfire Ninja buy firewood and they mentioned that they wanted to teach their kids about fire safety. This got me thinking about teaching the importance of Fire Safety, especially for young children. While adults are generally more aware of the importance of fire safety, it is equally essential to teach children about it from a young age. This not only helps them understand the potential dangers associated with fires but also empowers them to respond effectively in emergency situations. In this blog post, we will provide some tips on how to teach children about fire safety at your next campfire. Kids love having campfires and this is an excellent opportunity to impart practical knowledge and instill responsible behaviour, while enjoying s’more or two. Here are some ideas on how to educate children about fire safety while sitting around a campfire:
1. Selecting a Safe Location: Teach children the importance of choosing a safe location for a campfire. Explain that it should be away from trees, bushes, tents, and other flammable materials. Ensure the area is clear of dry leaves, twigs, and debris.
2. Creating a Fire Pit: If you don’t have a fire pit, show them how to create a fire pit by digging a shallow hole and surrounding it with rocks or stones. This helps contain the fire and prevent it from spreading.
3. Fire Building Techniques: Teach children different fire-building techniques, such as the teepee, log cabin, or lean-to method. Explain the importance of using small, dry twigs and branches for kindling and adding larger logs as the fire grows.
4. Supervision and Safe Behavior: Emphasize the importance of adult supervision during campfires and establish clear guidelines for safe behavior around the fire. For example, children should not play near the fire, run around it, or throw objects into the flames
5. What's hot and what's not: Even as adults, it's easy to forget just how hot surfaces around a campfire can get. I've seen more than a couple adults burn their shoes on stones around a fire pit, or accidentally brush up against a hot fire pit melting a hole in their clothes. Take the time to show children all the potentially hot surfaces around a campfire and the dangers of these hot surfaces. Make a short game, like "I spy", and quiz kids on 'What's hot, and, what's not".
6. Fire Extinguishing Techniques: Teach children how to safely extinguish a campfire by allowing the wood to burn down to ash, dousing the fire with water, and stirring the ashes to ensure all embers are extinguished. Explain the importance of never leaving a campfire unattended or going to sleep while it's still burning.
7. Leave No Trace: Discuss the principles of Leave No Trace and the responsibility of leaving the campsite in its natural state, including proper disposal of campfire ashes once they have cooled completely.
8. Emergency Response: Educate children on what to do in case of a fire-related emergency, such as alerting an adult, calling for help, and using a fire extinguisher or water to put out a small fire if it's safe to do so.
9. Campfire Cooking Safety: If you plan to cook over the campfire, teach children safe cooking practices, such as using long-handled utensils, wearing heat-resistant gloves, and keeping a safe distance from the flames. If you are roasting marshmallows around the fire, use your marshmallow stick as a learning tool to show how hot and quickly a fire can start and what to do if your marshmallow takes fire.
10. Campfire Stories and Discussions: Use the relaxed atmosphere around the campfire to share stories and discuss fire safety topics. Engaging children in conversations about fire safety can help reinforce the lessons and make them more memorable.
By incorporating these ideas into your camping trip or backyard campfire, you can create a fun and educational experience for children while teaching them important fire safety skills that will last a lifetime.