Whether you are parked at a campground or taking the scenic route, HomeFirst® Agency wants to protect your family and RV, and help you put out fires before they start with these safety tips. Want to know more? Read the advice below on preparing for a fire and what you can do to defend against one.
Start with the Basics
Just like in stationary homes, fundamental fire safety strategies are vital for being prepared when flames threaten your RV.
Know all the exits, including windows, and practice using them with your family and passengers. When the heat is on, having a plan in place will help you get out quickly. Make sure there are at least two escape routes in your drills.
Keep an emergency pack near one of the exits. This can include a first aid kit, food and water, extra clothes and blankets, flashlights and important documents. Investing in a fireproof bag for your supplies or at least a small safe for your documents will help protect them when you need them most.
Have access to fire extinguishers and practice how to use them. It’s a good idea to have one or two placed in areas where fires are likely to occur, like the kitchen. Having more than one also is beneficial if you cannot reach one of them. You can also install an extinguisher on the outside of your RV for quick action in case of an external blaze. Regularly check that your fire extinguishers are in working condition and replace them when needed. Also, the type of extinguisher you have on hand matters. Class B-C fire extinguishers are recommended as they combat flammable liquid and electrical fires.
Install smoke detectors and test them routinely, especially before embarking on your next trip. Carbon monoxide and propane gas leak detectors are also beneficial in staying alert to the dangers caused by carbon monoxide and propane gas that are harder to notice than the smell of smoke.
Stay Up-to-Date with Repairs and Maintenance
Keeping up regular maintenance for the vehicle part of your recreational vehicle is essential to preventing accidents on the road and the fires that can result.
Engine care and cleaning is important. A small fuel leak is all it can take to have a bonfire under your hood. Looking over and servicing your engine will uncover any issues before you’re on the road and keeping it clean will leave less debris for a flame to ignite.
Maintain tires and brakes. Checking the tread and air pressure in your tires are good precautions against wrecks and flat tires, and brake upkeep helps avoid brake friction, which could set off sparks.
Check that all electrical wiring and connections are properly secured and do not need repairs.
Inspect your power cord that hooks up to shore power for any damage or wear and tear and replace when needed. In the event of a fire while you are still connected, turn off the shore power at the outlet box as quickly as possible to prevent further damage.
Examine your propane tank and hook ups for any leaking.
Stick to Good Practices
RV fire safety should be a habit for your family wherever you are traveling. The little everyday things are some of best ways to snuff out mistakes that could put you in harm’s way.
Keep heat sources and open flames clear of any flammable objects. Paper towels, dish cloths, oven mitts and similar objects should be away from the stove; space heaters or lamps and lighting should not be near clothes, blankets, pillows, etc.
Don’t run the fridge or any other propane-run appliances while driving the RV. You do not want the propane operating during a collision and putting you and your passengers at further risk of fire.
Be aware of your surroundings and location when traveling in case you need to contact the fire department or call for an ambulance. Their response time will be much faster if you can pinpoint where you are.
Don’t overload extension cords. If you can avoid using extension cords in your RV, it is best to do so, but if you need one, be careful of how much you’re plugging into it and the power required. Too many devices charging at the same time can overwhelm the outlets and increase the risk of fire.