Introduction: How to Minimize Injury by Fire
I have started a lot of fires in my day, and in doing so I have found that starting fires is easy but putting them out can be hard. Here are 5 fire tips to mitigate injuries and property damage.
Step 1: Have a Water Bucket
In this picture you see a fire I started in a 7 ft deep hole, don't ask me why. In the space of 5 seconds, the flames had grown 10 ft high and searing hot. It took 10 seconds to get the hose on and in that time the fire had almost melted the nearby fence. This would have caused a couple hundred dollars of damage. It is imperative that you have a plan in place, I recommend having a 5-gallon bucket (filled with water) on site.
Step 2: Know What Type of Fire You Are Making
How you put out a fire varies greatly depending on what you are burning. NEVER put out an oil and grease fire with water, this will cause it to explode. The way to put out a grease fire is to smother it or cover it with baking soda or table salt. Do not attempt to put sugar or flour on it, as this may cause it to explode.
Step 3: The Wind Is Not Your Friend
I was hiking with a friend of mine and after hiking through a field of snow we decided to kindle a small fire to warm ourselves. Just as the flames caught, a small puff of wind carried a flaming ball of grass to a dry hillside where the fire quickly began to spread. We stopped the fire but it was a sobering lesson. It only takes a little wind to cause a disaster.
Step 4: Be Aware of Small Children
As mentioned before I once burned a 7 ft deep hole, and as one may expect it drew no small amount of attention. Soon the flaming hole was surrounded by diminutive children. If one of them was to fall in they would have died or been severely burned. Be aware of the trouble children who seem to have a death wish, keep close watch that they keep a safe distance.
Step 5: Don't Be Too Safe
Fire is untamed and wild, it does not want to be controlled. No one has fun around a small campfire, so don’t be neurotic about safety, but a few simple things can mitigate damage and injuries while maintaining the untamed and wild aspects of fire.