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Embracing the Warmth Safely: A Guide to Open Fire Safety & Enjoyment in South Africa

In the heart of South African culture, gathering around open fires with loved ones is a cherished tradition. These moments of togetherness are filled with stories, laughter, and the sizzle of delicious food.

South Africa Scenic View Cape Town
Beautiful South Africa

Yet, in the midst of all the warmth and joy, it's vital to keep safety at the forefront.

In this article, we'll explore essential fire safety practices for enjoying open fires in the vibrant South African outdoors


From bushveld to beach, South Africa's diverse landscapes beckon for campfire gatherings. Follow these guidelines for a safe and memorable experience:

Respect Regulations:

Before you light a campfire, ensure you have the necessary permits in line with local regulations. This not only keeps the environment safe but also protects our beautiful lands.

Mind Your Space:

A fire pit far away from the wooden house at least 3m away from all other items that can burn

Create a clear zone of about 3m around the fire by removing dry grass and leaves. If there's a designated fire pit, use it; otherwise, choose a spot away from tents and structures. Pack rocks around the fire pit.

Have Water / Sand Nearby:

Keep a bucket of water or a hose nearby – a quick way to douse any unexpected flames. Water is our ally in safeguarding our fires and surroundings.

Share the Watch:

Campfires are a place of stories and connection. Adults, make sure you're always there to supervise children and prevent accidents.

Put It Out Right:

Before calling it a night, extinguish the fire completely by pouring water and stirring the ashes. Our shared responsibility is to leave no trace behind.

Fire Pits & Hot Coals:

Braais (barbecues) are a hallmark of South African culture. Practice these safety tips while enjoying the warmth:

Dress Wisely:

While braaing choose snug, covered clothes to shield from sparks, and swap open-toed shoes for more protective footwear.

Know Your Move:

Teach everyone the "STOP, DROP, and ROLL" move – a simple technique that can make a big difference if clothing catches fire.

Store Securely:

Keep gasoline containers far from the fire area, like the Forever Fire Pot with burner oil or your own sealed container.

Our braais are a true South African tradition – let's keep them safe:

  • Space and Air: Position your grill at a good distance from structures and plants. Adequate ventilation keeps the air clear and our braais enjoyable.

  • Keep Watch: Attending the grill is a must – it's a way to ensure the meal is perfect and prevent any potential flare-ups.

  • Sun Safety: As we enjoy the sun-soaked outdoors, sun safety is paramount:

  • Shield from Rays: Wear sunscreen, protective clothing, and stylish hats to keep the sun's embrace safe and enjoyable.

Fire Danger Index for conservation areas in South Africa

Look out for these boards when you visit conservation areas.

South Africa's spirit thrives around open fires, where cultures intertwine and memories are woven. As we partake in these special moments, remember that safety is the fire that fuels our enjoyment. By following these guidelines, we ensure that our open fire traditions are passed down to generations, along with the warmth and joy that define us as a diverse and united nation.

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