Bonfire Safety: How to Make a Bonfire at Home the Right Way

Having your own backyard bonfire takes the nip out of chilly evenings and creates the perfect atmosphere for a festive end-of-fall gathering. Luckily, it’s easy to learn how to adhere to bonfire safety rules and build your own. Not sure where to start? National Property Inspections is here to help.

Know the Rules

Before learning how to make a bonfire, it’s important to research your area laws. In some areas, permits are necessary to build a bonfire, and they are only allowed during certain times of the year. Contact your local fire department for assistance in understanding the regulations and guidelines that may be unique to your city or state.

Bonfire Safety

Here are the top five ways to keep your home and loved ones safe from harm:

1. When selecting placement for the bonfire, always be sure to keep it a safe distance away from the house, garden, and any surrounding trees. Always set it up on top of soil rather than grass to avoid any stray embers from catching. Keep a bucket of water handy just in case, or have your outdoor hose at the ready should the need arise.

2. NEVER use any sort of accelerant on a bonfire. Building a fire is a skill that is easy to learn and master, but it takes precision and accuracy. The expression “don’t add fuel to the fire” is a warning for good reason. Paper products are excellent starters, and can be placed within the firewood safely without risk of explosion. Be cautious about what gets tossed into the flames, as cans and other metals can explode when heated.

3. Wear layers. Having a coat on keeps party-goers from standing too close to open flames, which can flicker and fly in outdoor breezes. Enjoy the bonfire from a safe distance, while still staying warm and toasty with your s’more.

4. If you choose to add sparklers to the evening festivities, it is important to remember some safety rules. Children should handle sparklers with fire-safe gloves, and always hold them horizontally to prevent any sparks from getting too close. Most importantly, it is essential to only hold one sparkler at a time. Three sparklers, when lit together, can produce the same amount of heat as a blowtorch meant to bend metal!

5. We all know it is fun to enjoy festivities with our furry friends. However, for Fido’s safety, it’s best to keep pets indoors for everyone’s bonfire safety.

How to Make a Bonfire

The best way to make a bonfire is by starting with a circle of bricks or stones to create a definitive framework. Make a teepee from small tinder such as twigs, pine needles, bark, or newspaper in the center of this circle. Next, make a teepee of kindling, or larger tinder, over the first, leaving holes for oxygen to breathe and feed the flame. Add fuel logs parallel to each other on two sides of the teepee, repeating up to five levels with the teepee in higher layers each time. Once your fire is set up, light it by dropping a match in the center of the teepee or place it in one of the gaps. The goal is to light the inner tinder layer for a gradual build.

Taking precautions and following safety instructions will set you up for the perfect get together during chilly fall evenings. Sip cider, enjoy ghost stories, and catch up with friends all while enjoying the comforting warmth from your homemade bonfire. Remember, if there are ever any questions about safety, National Property Inspections is always here to help.

Are you having a bonfire this fall? Let us know in the comments below!

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