NFPA Safety Tip
NFPA shares advice on camp cooking safety
June 30, 2006 – As vacationers flock to camp sites this season the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is offering advice on camp cooking safety.
Campers have been known to bring many of the comforts of home with them as they set up camp in the great outdoors – in a few cases they bring everything but the kitchen sink – and in most cases they bring a camp cooking appliance. Home cooking is an activity that most people take part in on a daily basis, but it is important to keep in mind that camp cooking is very different than cooking in your home. There is special safety information available that should be reviewed when preparing to cook in a camp environment and camp cooking appliances are involved.
Camp Cooking Safety Tips
Camp cooking equipment:
- Always look for a camp stove that is listed with a certifying agency to ensure you are getting a safe, tested appliance.
- Always plan your camp cooking appliance purchase with adequate time to read and understand the information on the appliance and in the owner's manual.
- When you bring your new stove home, you should test it in a safe environment outside your home to familiarize yourself with its operation and contact customer support if you have any questions or concerns.
- Be sure to follow all instructions and markings on your cooking appliance and in the owner's manual.
- Always operate camp cooking appliances outdoors in an area free of overhead obstructions – never use a camping stove in an enclosed or poorly ventilated location.
- Set up your camp cooking appliance following the manufacturer's instructions. Be sure to check and recheck the fuel system for proper installation and freedom from leaks.
Cooking at the camp site:
- Check to make sure that cook stoves are allowed in camping areas, especially in national and state forests during high fire danger periods.
- Avoid operation of your cooking appliance in rainy or windy conditions.
- Provide adequate lighting for the preparation of your meals so that you can quickly find your cooking utensils and food items and use them appropriately.
- Never leave an operating or hot cooking appliance unattended.
- Never let children run or play within 3 feet of the cooking area.
- Use cooking utensils that properly fit your cooking appliance.
- Keep the work area clean and free of clutter, especially paper and other flammable materials.
- Be particularly careful during dry periods to keep dry leaves and pine needles away from your cooking area.
- Be sure to include hot potholders and cooking utensils in your camp kitchen.
- Never use water on a grease fire or try to move a pan with burning oil. Hold a lid with an oven mitt and gently place it over the fire. Leave it there until the pan has cooled.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education. Visit NFPA's Web site at www.nfpa.org