Fire Safety On Campsites
Very few of us cook over naked flames or use bottled gas as our main source of cooking fuel when we are at home, but when you are on holiday in a tent, caravan or motorhome, there isn’t much choice. It’s therefore hardly surprising that fire is one of the biggest risks campers and caravanners have to deal with. Therefore fire safety on campsites is of paramount importance.
Stick to the Rules
Most campsites will have regulated pitches, with tents, caravans or motorhomes being kept 6 metres apart. As well as giving you a bit of privacy, the extra space between pitches means that is a fire does break out in one tent or motorhome, it has less chance of spreading to neighbouring pitches. If you are camping on a more informal site, then bear in mind the advice about leaving plenty of space between your pitch and the other people on the site.
Blankets, Buckets and Alarms
Fitting a simple, battery operated smoke alarm in your caravan is a safety essential. Fire can spread very rapidly through a caravan, and a smoke alarm gives you an early warning and additional time to get out. Many residential caravans will have a fire blanket if they are hired out to paying guests, and these are cheap to buy and easy to use. Fire blankets are ideal for dealing with small fires on the cooker or other areas, and work by smothering the flames. Many camping experts recommend that you keep a fire bucket filled with either sand or water by your tent or motorhome ready to use in an emergency. This is particularly important if there is not an easy source of running water close by.
Gas cylinders and gas stoves are the main risk area when cooking in a caravan. Gas bottles and cylinders should always be kept outside the caravan, motorhome or tent, never in an awning or inside. Always turn off gas cylinders or bottles when you leave for the day or when you go to bed. Wait until the bottle is totally empty before trying to change it for a new one, and never use a camping stove or cooker in a motorhome while moving. Always buy your gas cylinders or bottles from a reputable retailer.
Avoid Naked Flames
Candles in tents are a recipe for disaster, and given that fire can rip through a tent in less than a minute, should be avoided at all costs. Even in motorhomes and caravans, it is best to avoid candles and other types of naked flames wherever possible. Never be tempted to smoke in a tent, and take additional care with cigarettes and lighters in caravans or motorhomes. Campfires are part of the fun of an outdoors holiday, so if you are thinking about lighting a fire, make sure you do so far away from your tent or caravan. Barbecues should also be positioned well away from tents, and due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, barbecues and other stoves should never be used in confined areas.