Building a fire surely sounds like a wonderful plan, possibly coupled with camping and marshmallows? Heaven! It all sounds warm and amazing, however, such activities are enjoyable only when safety parameters are followed and steps are taken to avoid accidents.
Safety precautions must always be taken such as bringing along fire extinguishing equipment. It naturally follows that fire equipment testing should also be performed, to make sure that the equipment isn’t faulty.
The Basics of Building a Fire
Building a fire sounds like a simple job. In order to build a fire that lasts for a while, some rudimentary basics ought to be followed:
- Ensure that you are in a place that is safe to build a fire. Ideally outdoors, we should build a fire at a location that is at some distance from trees and other shrubbery, a single flame blown away by the wind could lead to a fire of massive proportions.
- Something to start the fire with: matches, lighter or such.
- To start a fire, tinder is required. Tinder refers to small, dry twigs, or even newspapers.
- Dry kindling is then added to the burning tinder in the form of a “teepee” structure. Kindling is basically slightly bigger pieces of twigs etc that burn easily.
- Once the tinder and the kindling are burning smoothly, logs should be added. These logs should be dry and should be placed in such a way so as to catch fire and give it height rather than smothering the fire and putting it out altogether. At this stage, different shapes can be built from the logs, keeping in mind the function of the fire.
- Lastly, it is of utmost importance that some form of fire extinguishers be kept at handy in order to put out the fire. All such equipment bought out should undergo fire equipment testing to avoid accidents.
How to put out an Outdoor Fire
Several methods have been used in order to put out fires. They are all fairly simple, and it comes down to personal preference as well as availability of resources required.
- Extinguish with Water
Extinguishing a campfire with water is an easy method. Essentially, sufficient amount of water is thrown onto the fire, in order to “drown” the fire and put it out completely.
It would be advisable to stand downhill from the wind while following this method to avoid inhaling potentially harmful smoke. Water should be poured onto the fire until the hissing completely finishes. At the end make sure no glowing embers remain.
- Use of Dirt or Sand
The use of dirt or sand to put out a fire is a relatively slower method. For this method, wait until the fire dies down. After the fire stops on its own, stir the logs to uncover unburnt larger logs and cover it all with sufficient dirt or sand so as to put out any glowing embers.
It should be noted here that heaping on a lot of sand or dirt on top could lead to a hot furnace type environment being created under the layer of sand and could lead to a larger fire. Only enough material should be applied that puts out the fire.
At the end place your palm a few inches from the surface. If it is not emitting heat, the fire has been put out safely.
- Use of a Portable Fire Extinguisher
Portable fire extinguishers are available quite easily in markets. While putting out fire with water and sand are easy methods, carrying a portable fire extinguisher as a safety precaution definitely is advisable.
Escaped fires are a huge hazard and thus putting out fire should be taken as a serious and concentrated task. Fire hazards however exist all around us in every environment and thus safety measures should be adopted in one way or the other.
For instance, fire blankets, fire safety gloves and fire extinguishers should be kept handy at all times and they should also be tested to ascertain proper working condition. For instance fire blanket testing should be undertaken so that they perform to their full potential if required.