The temperature has dropped and that crisp autumn breeze has blown into Nashville. As the days grow shorter and the nights get colder, many Nashvillians will light up the fire pit! Whether you’re going camping at Fall Creek Falls or just enjoying a warm fire in your own backyard, be sure to follow these guidelines for your own health and safety!
Health & Safety Guide for Campfires & Bonfires
- Check the county’s policy on fires and burn bans before making a fire.
- Never use gasoline or any flammable that is not exclusively intended for fire-starting purposes.
- Build your fire away from fences, trees, and overhead items (string lights, telephone wires, etc.).
- Only burn dry material, as damp wood causes excess smoke.
- As a general rule, a fire should be distanced at least 5x its height from the nearest structure. For example, a fire burning four-feet tall should be at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Always keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby in case the flames get out of control.
- Never leave a fire unattended.
- Closely supervise children around a fire.
- Anything that goes into the fire stays in the fire.
- Store extra wood upwind of the fire.
First Aid for Burns
Accidents happen. If a burn does occur, follow this first aid guide.
Option #1 – At-Home Care. Many first-degree burns can be treated at home with basic first aid practices. Follow these steps.
- Stop the burning.
- Remove any clothing or jewelry in the area.
- Cool the burn by running cool (not cold) water over the skin until pain diminishes.
- Protect the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive cloth or bandage.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers.
See your Nashville doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group if pain and redness lasts several hours or more, if the burn produces a large burn blister, or if you notice any signs of infection (such as swelling, oozing, fever, worsening pain).
Option #2 – Call 911. Certain types of burns require emergency care. This includes burns that…
- Sear through multiple layers of skin.
- Are on the hands, feet, face or genitals.
- Cause leathery, charred, white, black, or brown marks on the skin.
Always call 911 if the burn victim is an infant or senior.
St. Thomas Medical Group: Partners In Your Health
At St. Thomas Medical Group, primary care physicians partner with patients throughout Nashville with a common goal: better health. To learn more about how you can better care for yourself and your family, schedule an appointment with a primary care doctor at St. Thomas Medical Group. You can schedule online or by calling +1 (615) 297-2700.