Camping is a great British pastime – despite the weather. It’s also one that involves a lot of flames, whether they be for a campfire, camp stove or barbecue-related.
Thinking of selling up If you’ve just bought a shiny new car and are heading out for your first family camping trip, you’ll want to bear some basic fire safety tips in mind. to buy a more camping-friendly car? Then you’re probably wondering ‘how much is my car worth?’ before you consider selling your existing one – it’s well worth getting a car valuation for this.
Once you’re all parked and set up, you’ll want to get some form of heat source going – especially if it’s winter in the UK.
The clue’s in the name, and if your idea of a perfect camping holiday involves being in the woods, getting close to nature and toasting marshmallows, then you’re probably the sort to insist on a full-blown campfire.
Most regular campsites in the UK allow campfires to be built if it’s done safely and according to their own rules. Some even provide firepits for such a purpose. Whether you’re building your own or using an existing one, ensure the fire pit is clear – any remaining ash or logs from the previous fire could cause yours to fall apart.
Keep the fire spot away from any flammable material and ring it with a handful of rocks. Remember too that drifting sparks can be dangerous – they could ignite tents or dry grass.
Once your kindling is in place, light the fire, first making sure everybody else is standing well back. Once it’s going you can add as many logs as you please, and keep it burning for as long as you desire. Only adults should be allowed to approach the fire or add logs.
Always have a bucket of water on hand, too. You need to be able to quickly douse the fire if it gets out of control.
When you’re ready to put out the fire, pour a bucket of water over the logs until you’ve soaked every last ember – even something smouldering could reignite, and if that happens unsupervised it could lead to a wildfire.
Propane is a fuel used by campers to run stoves, ovens, or heaters. It’s abundant, cheap and burns cleanly, so it’s very popular for both campervans and tent campers. That doesn’t mean it’s without risk, though.
Propane is incredibly flammable and also an asphyxiant, which means extensive exposure to it could lead to suffocation, cardiac arrest or seizures. Propane tanks are well-designed and won’t leak during normal use, but it’s worth taking extra care around them to make sure they stay safe.
Store your propane tank in a well-ventilated area and somewhere secure – any fall could damage the valve, resulting in the tank leaking. If it’s damaged enough, the compressed propane could even explode.
So where possible, keep it outside, but protect it from the sun on a hot day. A hot tank may expand and explode.
Most campsites have their own rules for barbecues, so read them carefully before sparking up. Gas barbecues are clean-burning and often run on propane or butane gas, but charcoal barbecues or disposable units require their own set of rules.
You should barbecue at least ten metres away from your tent to avoid the risk of a fire, and as with a campfire keep a jug of water handy to put it out quickly if needed.
Disposable campfires should be put in a general waste bin – don’t leave it behind. If there’s nowhere appropriate to leave the ashes from your barbecue, wrap them in a bin bag or two and take them away with you.