Fire Safety for Cubs

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Silver Wolf: Learn about fire safety and show the correct way to strike a match.

Making a fire and cooking something can be great fun, but you must be careful. Although a fire is useful, it can also be very dangerous if it gets out of control. So, before you can make and use your fire, there are are some very important things you must learn.

Lighting a match

The correct way to strike a match is away from you. Take out a match and close the box properly again. Make sure no-one is standing right in front of you. Now strike the match away from yourself like this:

See how your fingers are out of the way?

Hold the match pointing slightly downwards and let the flame burn up the match. Then hold the match pointing upwards and you'll see that it will burn more slowly. Blow out the flame before it reaches your fingers! After you have blown it out, don't touch the burnt part because it will still be very hot to start with.

Make sure the match is dead and cool before you put it in the rubbish bin.

Fire Safety

Did you know that foolish, careless people cause many of the veld fires in our country because they do not know how to look after matches or cooking fires? A tiny flame can destroy the entire countryside before it is put out. All living things in its path are burnt, and all that remains are ashes.

Remember to go over the safety rules before you start on your fire. Every Cub knows how important it is to take every care with their fire.

  • Learn the safe way to strike a match.
  • ALWAYS make sure there is a grown-up nearby.
  • ALWAYS make sure that your fireplace is clear of grass all round, and that it is well away from trees.
  • Whenever possible, raise your fire off the ground. Use a sheet of metal standing firmly on stones.
  • ALWAYS make sure your fire is just big enough to cook for yourself.
  • ALWAYS have a bucket of water handy to put out the fire, or a bucket of sand if no water is available.
  • ALWAYS stay by your fire, from the moment you have lit it until you have finally put it out.
  • ALWAYS put the fire out and make sure the coals are cool when you are finished.
  • MAKE SURE that you are allowed to light a fire outdoors. In some places it is against the law to light fires out in the open. Use official fireplaces if available. Akela will advise you on this.
  • MAKE SURE that it is not too windy. If it is, leave your fire lighting and cooking for another day.
  • MAKE SURE there are no flammable materials nearby, e.g. tents, fuel, long grass, or the firewood pile. Make sure they are upwind and far enough away.
  • ALWAYS wear shoes near the fire - this prevents burning your feet on coals that have fallen out of the fire.
  • REMEMBER, if your clothes catch alight, STOP, DROP and ROLL.