Campfires can be one of the best parts about summer. Whether you’re cooking s’mores or playing games, campfires can be a great way to gather the family and friends outdoors.

With all the great memories a campfire can bring, they can also be a danger if not handled properly. In fact, nine out of 10 wildfires are caused by people who are careless. That’s why it’s important to take every step necessary when handling a campfire to ensure that there are no dangerous outcomes.

With Campfire Day fast approaching on August 4, we’ve listed a few safety tips so that you and the ones you love can have fun responsibly:

Know your location

If you’re at a campground, always make sure you check the fire regulations before you think about creating a spark. Even if a campground allowed campfires the year before, the location might’ve put a temporary ban on starting a fire depending on the level of wildfire risk. 

Prepare your pit responsibly

When creating a fire pit, always clear a 10-foot radius around the fire by removing anything that can become a fire hazard. That means moving extra twigs, sticks and leaves away from the area before you strike a match.

Never leave a fire unattended

When starting a campfire, always make sure there is a person by the fire to keep an eye on things. A slight change in wind direction or a spark from a burning log could cause a fire to get out of hand in a matter of minutes if no one is watching.

Keep an eye on children

Burns can be one of the most common camping injuries for little ones who don’t understand fire safety. To avoid harm, make sure your child is always at a safe distance, even if the fire is no longer burning. A tempted child might pick up coals or logs that are still at dangerous temperatures after a fire burned out.

Always double check before you leave

When leaving a campfire, always make sure that the pit is cold and there are no more burning coals. If you feel heat still coming from the fire pit, take safety measures by dumping water on it before walking away.