11 Tips for Building a Safe Bonfire

Bonfires have become one of the best parts of autumn. Every year, families and friends gather together to roast hotdogs and make s’mores in the rosy glow of roaring campfires. It’s a magical experience—but it can also turn dangerous if you’re not careful.

Make sure to follow these safety tips as you build and maintain your fire so the flames stay in control and your evening remains fun.


1. Check local laws.

Before you ever strike a match, make sure it’s legal to build a bonfire at your location and find out if you need a permit.


2. Check the weather.

Make sure conditions are right for a bonfire. If the weather is too dry or windy, you might need to make other plans.


3. Find the right location.

Pick a spot for your fire that’s at least 50 feet from any building and far away from any fences or overhead cables.


4. Prepare the place.

Make a firepit and clear all brush from the area.


5. Start the fire with newspaper or small kindling.

Don’t use materials like gasoline because the blaze could get out-of-hand. You should also never use accelerants like diesel fuel or kerosene and don’t toss spray cans or fireworks into the flames.


6. Burn only dry, seasoned wood.

Stay away from wood that’s coated or treated.


7. Keep the bonfire manageable.

The flames shouldn’t exceed 4 ft X 4 ft.


8. Keep a bucket of water nearby.

You want to be prepared in case of emergencies.


9. Hold onto your wits.

Refrain from using alcohol while enjoying your bonfire.


10. Watch your children and pets.

Keep them a safe distance from the fire.


11. Completely extinguish the fire when you’re done.

Stir the ashes and then soak them thoroughly with water to keep them from reigniting.


Of course, you’ll always want to make sure your property has the right insurance in case anything does happen with your bonfire. Give us a call at 270-554-2105 to talk about your home insurance policy.