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Campfires are a favourite summer activity for many, but we can never be too cautious when it comes to starting a fire–especially when almost everything in a forest is flammable.

Firefighters put three materials (metal, vinyl and Hardie board) by a fire to see which one would best control the flames. To our surprise, metal was even weaker than Hardie board, which is a mix of sand, cement and cellulose fibres. So if you find yourself camping out in an area where a campfire could easily get out of control, either move spots, or bring a few pieces of Hardie board with you to surround your fire pit. Safety comes first.

According to the James Hardie website, Hardie board “can be used in conjunction with other noncombustible materials around a fireplace” and, therefore, can be used to improve the safety around your campfire.

While vinyl melts and metal also burns away when faced with fire, Hardie board does the best job at keeping a fire contained. The next time you’re thinking of roughing it in the woods or getting your s’mores on, why not line the fire pit with a few slabs of Hardie board? The forest may thank you for it later.

If you’re new to the campfire-building scene, check out the best way to make that perfect campfire here.