Whether camping out or enjoying a backyard barbecue, the State Fire Marshal’s Office would like to remind everyone to be careful with any kind of activity that could spark a wildfire.

“It doesn’t take much for a small fire to turn into a large blaze” says State Fire Marshal Charles Duffy, “knowing a few fire safety tips will help everyone have a fire safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.”

Campfire Safety
• It is important to follow the campground rules for the use and extinguishment of campfires
• Build campfires where they will not spread.  A 5-10 foot circle around the fire should be cleared of all flammable materials and your tent should be at least 15 feet away
• Keep campfires to a reasonable and manageable size, no larger than 3 feet x 3 feet – do not let them get out of hand
• Thoroughly drown the fire, stir it and douse it again with water – do not leave a fire until it is OUT COLD

Barbecue Safety
• Always inspect your grill at the beginning of the season, checking all connections and supply hoses. Make sure the venturi tubes that deliver gas to the burner are not blocked
• Do not overfill the propane tank.  Always store tanks outside, in a well-ventilated area
• Keep barbecue 5 to 10 feet away from your house or other flammable material.  Never barbecue in enclosed areas as carbon monoxide could result
• Do not add fluid to hot coals, the flame can flash back up into the container and explode
• Dispose of hot coals properly, douse them with plenty of water and stir them to ensure that the fire is out.  Never place them in plastic, paper or wooden containers

General Fire Safety
• Ensure children and pets are kept well away from fire.  Teach your children to report any loose matches or lighters to an adult immediately
• Make sure everyone knows to Stop, Drop and Roll in case a piece of clothing does catch fire.  Call 911 if a burn warrants serious medical attention
• Never leave your fire unattended and keep plenty of water nearby
• Do not wear loose clothing while tending a fire and tie back long hair

For additional fire safety tips and informational brochures visit the Office of the State Fire Marshal webpage at http://www.wsp.wa.gov/fire/firemars.htm or the United States Fire Administration webpage at www.usfa.fema.gov