School is out and summer vacation is in full swing in Mississauga. Many families have already planned camping or cabin trips, which are great ways to get out and enjoy Ontario’s beautiful sights.

Did you know that the safest way to start a campfire is to use small branches or kindling and use a match or lighter to light it? Although it is tempting to start a fire quickly, please do not use gasoline or other flammable or combustible liquids to start a fire. A fire takes time to grow safely, so add wood slowly and keep a watchful eye on it at all times.

When you start planning your perfect out-of-town trip or even a home stay, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Plan smart campfires. If campfire s’mores are part of your summer plans, you’ll need a fire. Always have a hose or bucket of water nearby and be sure to completely extinguish the fire before going to bed or going away for other activities. Always keep children and pets a safe distance from fires.

Check smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. If you are sleeping away from home, it is important to check your temporary residence for smoke alarms and fire extinguishers. If you have rented a chalet, remember to find out about fire safety before you arrive. Tents do not require smoke alarms, but should be set up away from any fireplaces.

Familiarize yourself with your surroundings. Just in case you need to call for help, it’s important that you and your children know what city or region you are in, the address, and any distinct landmarks near you. Consider downloading what3words, which is an app to help first responders find you quickly.

Bring a first aid child. Having a first aid kit on hand can help with minor cuts and some large wounds, so it’s important that you carry one when you travel, especially if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

Wear life jackets. July 17-23 is National Drowning Prevention Week and water safety is essential on your adventures this summer. Make sure everyone wears a properly fitted lifejacket on boats or near open bodies of water.

I’m going camping myself this summer, so follow me on Twitter @DerynRizzi for more safety tips along the way.

Deryn Rizzi is the Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management for Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services, City of Mississauga. She can be contacted at [email protected]