Summertime Safety: Keeping Your Campfires Under Control

Summer days lead to cool nights that are perfect for cozying up to a warm fire with your family and friends. The smell of s’mores is in the air, and some of you may even be roasting your marshmallows the old fashioned way – on a stick. There is nothing more relaxing than hearing the crackle of firewood and the sound of laughter as you look up at the stars. There is also nothing more terrifying than a fire that has become unruly or is emitting noxious gasses due to the materials that are being burned.

First and foremost, there are several guidelines that the city of Norwich has put together to regulate the types of fires that are lit in its residents’ backyards. The following are a few of these guidelines:

-You do not need a permit for: Small cooking fires, campfires, bonfires that do not threaten to create a forest fire, fires for training or construction purposes.

-Your fire is considered safe it is can be contained/maintained, does not emit a foul odor or generate an unusual abundance of smoke.

-You will need a permit to burn large amounts of brush.

As you can see, you are legally allowed to have a fire in your backyard, toast your marshmallows and sing campfire songs with your loved ones without needing to submit a permit. However, this does not mean that small campfires do not pose threats. To keep yourself, your family, and your friends safe this summer, here are a few tips:

-Set up your fire pit at least 15 feet away from your home or any other structure – be even more careful if there are winds.

-Be sure to clear the ground around your fire pit of dry leaves or twigs. This will make your fire less likely to spread.

-When starting a fire, it is important to use proper materials. If your firewood is completely dry, it should catch quickly. If you are having trouble starting your fire and want to use other types of kindling, like paper, make sure that it is secured inside a nest of wood so that hot ash cannot escape freely. Secondly, try to avoid using lighter fluid or gasoline to start your fire. You can purchase or create DIY fire starters that are safe and easy to use.

-While you are enjoying your campfire, be sure to keep foreign objects out of it. It is common to feel the urge to throw an object into the fire, but some objects can and do explode when heated. To be safe, it is better to fight the urge to experiment than to burn your guests or yourself.

If you do end up having an accident at your next backyard get-together, or are wondering how to get coverage just in case something does happen, feel free to contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency for all of your insurance inquiries.