The diligent RVer places a focus on fire safety. Fire is, unfortunately, one of the top causes of RV loss in the United States today. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 20,000 RV fires occur each year. Make sure yours isn’t one of them!
When your RV is driving or parked, a fire can start. The following pointers will assist you in identifying the most prevalent fire threats. Before you leave, make sure to:
- Prepare a pre-travel checklist and inspect your RV before each journey.
- Ensure your RV has three fire extinguishers: one in the kitchen, one in the bedroom, and one outside in an unlocked compartment or your tow car. Ascertain that every tourist is aware of their location and how to use them.
- Make sure your smoke detector is working.
- Have a minimum of two escape routes and a plan in place. It’s a good idea to practice it with your trip companions.
- Make sure everyone in the group knows how to open the front door, hatches, and emergency exits.
- Make sure your RV’s carbon monoxide and propane detectors are in good working order.
- In moist charcoal, spontaneous combustion can occur. Purchase fresh charcoal before your trip, keep it dry, and store it in a covered metal container.
- Make sure the power cord connecting your RV to the campground’s energy source is in good working order and appropriate gauge wire to bear the load.
- Replace any broken cables right away.
While driving, be cautious.
- Give your tires at least an eyeball check at each rest stop. It’s important to remember that a pressure gauge reading on heated tires isn’t reliable.
- While driving, turn off the propane at the tank and all propane-powered appliances. If you have an accident or a tire blowout while the propane is turned on, your injuries and car damage might be much severe. If you want to travel with a propane refrigerator, you must turn it off, as well as any other appliances, before entering a fuel stop. (As an aside, most refrigerators will keep food cold or frozen for up to eight hours while you’re traveling.)
- Keep an eye out for safe places to pull over and park. Dry grass beneath your RV might easily be ignited by a hot exhaust pipe or catalytic converter.
While camping (or parking), keep the following in mind:
- Cooking should never be left unattended.
- Never leave plugged-in and turned-on appliances unattended.
- When you depart the RV, turn off the overhead exhaust fans.
- Leave 12-volt lighting turned off. Keep garments and other flammable items out of their reach (like in storage spaces). They become heated.
- Unless you’ve run out of fuel, if the flame on your galley stove goes out while in use, the gas will continue to flow, perhaps resulting in an explosion. Before attempting to relight the stove, turn it off and let the RV air out.
- From paper towels to drapes, all combustibles should be kept far enough away from your stove to avoid catching fire.
- Gasoline and propane can be pretty dangerous if not handled properly. Any leaks or spills should be dealt with very away, and all fuels should be used in well-ventilated places. Operate your generator in a location where gasoline fumes will not ignite a source of the fire.
- Keep all fire sources, such as fire rings, tiki torches, and lanterns, away from all vehicles at your campsite.
- RVs frequently have a limited number of electrical outlets. Thus RVers often utilize power strips to plug in additional items.
- Make sure the electrical outlets aren’t overloaded! Circuit breakers don’t usually prevent overloads from causing fires!
In an RV, it’s better not to utilize an extension cord.
- If you must use an extension cord, ensure sure it is HEAVY DUTY and that the load you place on it is far within its safe load capability.
FACTS ON FIRE
Folding camping trailers, truck campers, and luxury motor homes are all examples of recreational vehicles.
8 million = Number of RV-owning families in the United States
400,000 = Number of RVs sold in 2006, which set a new high;
58 percent = Increase in RV ownership since 1980
The average age of an RV owner is 49 years old, and the average number of miles an RV travels each year is 4,500 miles.