How To Prevent a Beach Fire Pit Accident

| August 29, 2014 | 0 Comments
You DONT Want to Call the Fire Department! Prevent Beach Fires Follow Me on Pinterest

You DONT Want to Call the Fire Department to Your Beach Party! Prevent Beach Fires in the First Place.

Summer, the beach, and a fire pit have two things in common. One, when used properly and treated with respect, this combination can be the perfect way to end the day. Two, when treated with disrespect, this combination can lead to serious injury or death. The number of adults and especially children who are badly burned in beach pit fire accidents each year has been steadily rising.

Seasonal Use has Increased Significantly

Going camping has long been one of the most popular outdoor pastimes in the U.S. In the last few years more campgrounds and beaches have been the scene of beach fire pit tragedies than at any time in our history. In part this can be blamed on the surge of sales over the past two decades. However, most of the blame for these beach fire pit accidents lies on the part of those who use them.

Using a fire pit or campfire brings with it a large amount of responsibility on behalf of the person in charge of the fire. These responsibilities don’t end when you are finished for the day. You are also responsible for everyone at the party and anyone who might come across your campfire in the next few days. The best way to prevent beach fire pit tragedies is to take all necessary steps to ensure the fire pit is safe during and after use.

What Type of Injuries Occur

Fire pit burn injuries are the most common type of injury according to a study conducted of fire pit related accidents at the University of California. Reports from the Irvine Burn Center showed that beach fire pit burn injuries have been steadily increasing. In 2007 there were 11 such mishaps, but by 2008 the number had doubled to 22. In 2009 the Burn Center reported it had treated 23 patients for this type of fire pit mishap. Of these, 17 were badly burned children.

The range of  burn injuries varies from burned feet to burns all over a child’s body. Some of these burns are minor but far too many of them are serious enough to require a visit to the hospital. It is also not unusual for this type of injury to be a third degree burn due the temperature involved.

Basic Beach Fire Pit Safety Tips

It is your responsibility to take every step possible to reduce the risk of a beach fire pit tragedy. There are the major steps you can take to do your part:

  • Always be fully aware of your surroundings. This is especially important if there are children nearby.
  • Treat your fire pit like any other dangerous environment and take the proper precautions.
  • Be aware of any embers or hot ashes that leave the fire pit.
  • Even though a beach fire pit may look like it has not been used, treat it as though it has because there may still be hot coals buried in the sand.

When You Are Done

Most fire pit mishaps at the beach happen long after the last user has departed. These are burn injuries from fire pits that have not been properly extinguished. Follow these steps to help prevent these types of injuries from happening:

  • Never use sand to put out your fire. It may douse the flames, but the hot coals will burn for many hours, possibly even days trapped under a layer of sand. These coals cannot been seen by anyone, but will make the sand exceptionally hot. Hot enough to cause third degree burns on contact. Fire pits tend to look like sand boxes, making them attractive to young children as play areas. This is the perfect set up for a major beach fire pit tragedy.
  • Use water to douse the fire, drench the wood and coals thoroughly and let them sit for five minutes. After this, repeat the process until you are certain the fire is out.
  • If you do not have access to enough water to do this, your best bet is to let the fire simply burn itself out. This at least allows those passing by to see the coals and can help to prevent what might otherwise be a tragic accident.

Burn Treatment for Beach Fire Pit Injuries

In the event that you or someone else suffers a beach fire pit burn injury, you need to wash the burned area in cool, clean water immediately. Never pack a burn with ice as it can cause serious damage to the skin and tissues. Rinse the burn in cool water for at least ten minutes to help reduce the level of heat. Cover the area with a cool, damp cloth or towel and seek immediate medical help.

Beach fire pit injuries are something which can be easily avoided as long as those who enjoy them also take the necessary steps to ensure their safety, that of everyone around them, and those who come after is properly extinguished to ensure they do not get burned. It only takes a few extra minutes to ensure your fire pit is safe while you are using it, and is fully extinguished when you are finished.

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