Release date: June 10, 1976
Release number: 76-037

Release Details

The urge to camp out during the summer months can lead to injuries, even death, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said today.

The Commission warned that sleeping bags and tents can turn fun into tragedy if children and campers fail to be cautious, especially regarding fires.

During 1975, an estimated 2,736 persons were treated in hospital emergency rooms around the country in connection with accidents involving tents, sleeping bags, cots, hammocks and other similar camping-type materials, Many involved fires.

In one example, a 17-year-old boy on a camping trip rolled over onto hot coals while asleep in bedding gear. The bag caught fire and the youth was fatally burned.

There are voluntary industry standards on tent and sleeping bag flammability. In addition, the Commission staff is working on the development of a safety standard to diminish the flammability hazards associated with tents. The governing body of a county in New York requested such a standard in a petition to the Commission in 1974.

Persons who use tents or supervise the use of tents by children should take care to consider that tents and sleeping bags burn.

The CPSC offers the following safety tips:

-Use flame-retardant tents and sleeping bags if possible, but assume tents and sleeping bags are flammable and be careful with fire.

-Keep stoves, lanterns and candles out of tents.

-Place campfires and stoves away from tents or sleeping gear, keep fire downwind.

-Extinguish fires before going to sleep.

-Keep cooking, heating and lighting equipment in good repair and follow instructions in its use.

-Don't smoke cigarettes, pipes or cigars near sleeping bags.

-Avoid using carbon monoxide releasing charcoal and catalytic products in unventilated areas.

-Transport flammable liquids in safety containers, keep them capped, out of tents and away from children.

Media Contact

Please use the below phone number for all media requests.

Phone: (301) 504-7908
Spanish: (301) 504-7800

View CPSC contacts for specific areas of expertise