Consider the following as you head out to the nearest campground, park or beach:
- Certain areas have restrictions regarding campfires and grills. Check if your area has any fire restrictions in place. Choose only those areas where fires are permitted.
- Check the fire danger rating in your area to determine if weather, or other factors make it dangerous to light a fire.
To start charcoal for cooking
- There are several ways to get the charcoal ready to use. Charcoal chimney starters allow you to ignite the charcoal using newspaper as a fuel:
- If you use a charcoal chimney, use a long match to avoid burning your fingers when lighting the paper
- If you choose to use lighter fluid, use only fluid intended for charcoal grills
- Never add charcoal starter fluid to coals or kindling that has already been ignited
- Never use gasoline or any other flammable liquid except charcoal starter or lighter fluid to start a charcoal fire
- Place the grill well away from overhanging branches according to the manufacturer’s instructions
- Place the grill a safe distance from lawn games, play areas and foot traffic
- Keep children and pets, and anything that can burn like food wrappers, an oven mitt or towel, at least 3-feet away from open flames and the grill
- Use long-handled grilling tools to give the chef plenty of clearance from heat and flames
- Have an adult present at all times when a campfire or grill is burning. Keep the fire small and never leave a fire unattended!
To dispose of charcoal after cooking
- Before going to sleep or leaving the area, douse the fire with water and make sure the area is cool to the touch.
- Five percent of outside or unclassified grill fires occurred in a lawn, field or open area
- Empty the coals into a metal container with a tight-fitting lid that is used only to collect coals
- Place the container outside and away from anything that can burn
- Never empty coals directly into a trash can
- Store the charcoal starter fluid out of reach of children and away from heat source