How to control summer campfires  ( admin posted on January 21st, 2019 )

Camping and barbecues are synonymous with the Queenslandsummer, however emergency services are reminding holiday-makers to be aware ofthe dangers.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service Northern region AssistantCommissioner Ron Twomey said it was vital to put safety first when lightingup a campfire or using a barbecue.

“This festive season,make sure you test gas cylinders and barbecue hoses and valves thoroughly beforeyou fire up the barbecue,” Mr Twomey said.

“When operating a barbecue people must remember to useextreme caution as they are working with the hazardous and potentiallydangerous materials of gas and fire.

“When it comes to lighting fires, holiday-makers must alsofamiliarise themselves with the rules and regulations of the park or area theyare staying in.

“Adequate precautions, which include lighting the fire in anopen area and away from vegetation and structures, should be taken to preventthe fire from spreading.

“Campfires must be lit in a properly prepared and containedfire pit and should never be left unattended. Campfires should also be lessthan one square metre in size.

Mr Twomey said that even a small campfire could spread veryquickly and have the potential to threaten nearby land, homes or lives, on ahigh fire danger day and it was vital they were extinguished properly.

“The only way to extinguish a campfire is by using water,not dirt or sand. A fire covered with dirt or sand can hold more than 100degrees of heat for up to 24 hours after it has been extinguished,” he said.

“By extinguishing a fire with water, within 10 minutes,almost no heat will remain.”

Queensland Ambulance Service Townsville LocalAmbulance Service Network Assistant Commissioner Rodney Walz said by beingcareful around fires and making sure children were supervised, serious injury couldbe prevented.

“It is important to apply the same rules around a campfireor barbecue as you would around the house. Never leave children unattended andkeep hot objects out of reach. Parents are also reminded that coals, which maylook appealing to children, can retain heat long after a fire is extinguishedand will cause serious burns,” Mr Walz said.

“Burn injuries can have lasting consequences that affectpeople for the rest of their lives. As little as one second of contact with acampfire, 70 degrees or hotter, will cause a third degree (full thickness)burn.

“Remember that burns can occur not only from flames, butalso from steam,” he said.

“Whether you are camping or at home these school holidays, inan emergency always call Triple Zero (000) for assistance. Burns can also betreated immediately by running coldwater over the affected area.”

Follow simple guidelines if lighting a campfire this summer.

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