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How Safe Is Your Tent?

Most tents, even those that are labeled flame resistant, will burn, so keep all sources of heat or flames at a safe distance.

To prevent a serious fire or burn, follow these suggestions:

  1. Read the labels before purchasing a tent. Buy only a flame-resistant tent.
  2. Pitch your tent at least 15 feet upwind from grills and fireplaces.
  3. Have an escape plan, and be prepared to cut your way out of the tent if a fire occurs.
  4. Use only battery-operated lights in or near tents and campers.
  5. Keep a fire extinguisher or container of water available at all times.
  6. Maintain at least a three-foot clear area, free of leaves, dry grass, pine needles, etc., around grills, fireplaces and tents.
  7. Thoroughly extinguish all fires, and turn off fuel lanterns and stoves, before leaving the campsite or going to bed.

Campfires and grills

  • Supervise children at all times when fires are burning or grills are in use.
  • When near campfires and grills, wear snug-fitting, tightly woven, short-sleeved or less-combustible clothing.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out a clothing fire — STOP, DROP and ROLL.

Handle flammable liquids with care

  • Store flammable liquids only in metal containers, preferably safety cans.
  • Store all flammable liquids at a safe distance from your tent, camper trailer or any source of heat or open flame.
  • Use flammable liquids only for their intended purpose — NOT to start a fire.
  • Fill lanterns and stoves a safe distance downwind from fireplaces, grills and other sources of heat or open flames.
  • Use a funnel when pouring flammable liquids, and clean up any spills immediately.
  • Carry only a minimal amount of flammable liquids, and make sure all caps are tight.
  • Handle tanks of compressed flammable gas with caution. Follow the precautions indicated on the tank.
  • Use only the recommended fuel for lanterns, stoves, etc. Do NOT use gasoline. (For more information about the dangers of gasoline, see page 9.)
  • Consider purchasing lantern fuel at or near your destination, to reduce the risk of fire while traveling.

Camping trailers

  • Use only electrically operated lights in trailers.
  • Keep cooking and heating equipment in safe condition.
  • Check and maintain gas connections and fume vents.
  • Keep combustibles away from cooking and heating equipment.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher available at all times, especially when cooking, but keep it by the camper/trailer exit door.
  • Develop a fire escape plan with your family.
  • Extinguish all smoking materials before going to bed, and soak with water.

In case of an actual or suspected fire, get everyone to safety before calling for help or attempting to extinguish the flames. Fire spreads very fast!

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