Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is offering advice to motorhome and caravan users following their attendance at three recent fire incidents which have destroyed three unoccupied touring vehicles.
As the weather improves and lockdown restrictions are lifted across the UK, many people will be considering a staycation. With more than 1.1 million caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes in use in the UK and a trebling of sales over the last year, according to The National Caravan Council, the fire service is urging people to follow a few simple guidelines to help protect their property and themselves when travelling or staying in caravans and motorhomes.
- Ensure your motorhome or caravan is in good mechanical and electrical order. Check the tyres, wheel nuts, battery and fluids, lights, jockey wheel and couplings and don’t overload sockets
- Examine your gas cylinders, cooking equipment, heaters and connections and know how to use and store the equipment safely
- Don’t store fuel or gas canisters under the vehicle, preferably move it to six meters away and ensure the gas is turned off when not in use. Keep fuel away from heat sources and don’t smoke near them
- Check you have a working fire alarm fitted in the vehicle, test it before you leave and at regular intervals and pack a fire extinguisher and fire blanket
- Fit a carbon monoxide detector to prevent inhalation of this deadly gas
- Do not cover air vents
- When parking, leave at least six meters between your own vehicle and any adjacent vehicles. This will help reduce the risk of fire spreading
Tina Collett, Prevention Team Leader at Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We are hugely relieved that no one was injured in any of the three incidents we attended recently. Fire safety may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re planning a trip away in your caravan or motorhome, but it’s important to be even more safety aware as there are many potential sources of fire and caravans can ignite quickly.
“As well as the pre-travel checks, taking a few additional precautions such as not smoking indoors, not leaving candles unattended, not drying clothing on or near heaters and keeping children away from cookers, fuel sources can also help prevent fires.
“This advice is also relevant to those people who permanently live in static caravans and mobile homes or travel regularly around the country.”
Government figures show that around 360 fires happen in caravans every year in the UK but following these precautions will reduce the risk of someone being hurt or a caravan or motorhome being destroyed.
If a fire does break out, however make sure that get everyone out, by a window if necessary, and call 999.