/ Fire Blankets / Fire Extinguishers / Campfire Safety /
Portable BBQ Safety
various ways to protect yourself and your property from fire
and smoke. Devices such as smoke alarms, fire blankets and
fire extinguishers are available. All buildings are
required to maintain a plan of action to be taken in the
event of a fire. Your caravan or RV should be no
different. Make sure you discuss and have an
remember not to place your life or the lives of others at
risk by staying in the vicinity of the fire.
comprehensive First Aid Kit *
towing your RV the gas should always be turned off
carry jerry cans or LPG gas bottles in the back of your
gas cylinders and flammable liquids outside your RV
going to sleep at night it is recommended you turn off
all appliances and ensure nothing is blocking the vent
in the exit door
travel regularly on rough roads the gas cylinders, gas
lines, pipes and fittings should be checked regularly
from your generator during transit
lighters and matches out of reach of children
campfires with plenty of water
Do not use
‘naked’ lights such as candles in your RV or tent
A comprehensive range of first aid kits are available from
St John Ambulance.
Why does the slightest
whiff of cooking smells set off my caravan smoke alarm and
is there a way around this?
and foremost – Never take the battery out of a
smoke alarm to render it inoperative. Whilst it
may seem like stating the obvious, smoke alarms are
devices that detect smoke and sound an alarm. They
protect people and property. Removing the
battery from your smoke alarm exposes you and your
family to danger. There are other ways around your
smoke alarm sounding at the slightest whiff of
cooking toast. If this is an annoyance for
you, ensure you purchase an alarm with alternate
ways around this situation. More on this
you go to sleep your sense of smell also goes to
sleep and if there is a fire, toxic fumes may
overcome you before you wake up. Don’t confuse
‘smoke alarms’ with ‘smoke detectors’ that are
generally used in commercial premises.
alarms in RV’s, motorhomes, camper trailer and
caravans are usually a stand alone device operated
by a 9 volt battery. The smoke alarm should comply
with Australian Standards.
include a test button, low battery indicator and battery
missing indicator. Some smoke alarms come with a ‘hush’
button which is a temporary delay to stop nuisance alarms.
For example, as discussed earlier, when cooking toast in an
RV it will invariably set off an alarm so the hush button
may be pressed to temporarily deactivate the alarm for about
10 minutes allowing you to get your toast cooking done
without having to remove batteries and thus maintaining
types of smoke alarms are there for caravans / RV's?
Ionisation Smoke Alarms
‘smell’ smoke and detect invisible particles of combustion
eg: cooking toast. They activate very quickly for little
visible smoke and fast flaming fires.
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms
detect ‘visible’ particles of combustion and are very
responsive to smouldering fire such as smouldering cigarette
smoke as well as dense smoke from furnishings or from
overheated PVC wiring.
They can be
prone to nuisance alarms from insects and dust.
time to consider where best to hang a fire blanket
(fire blankets usually come in a plastic carry case
with eyelets for easy hanging). The position
you choose should be easily accessible in the event
of an emergency. Having one close to the kitchen
and near an exit is recommended.
blankets must measure no less than 1 metre by 1
metre and be Australian Standard approved. These
blankets are ideal to wrap around people if their
clothes catch alight and for cooking fat fires. The
way they work is to smother the fire (starve it of
oxygen). Remember to keep your face and hands
protected behind it.
powder type fire extinguishers are suitable for most
household fires and are effective against most small fires.
Fire extinguishers should be Australian Standard approved.
Before using a
fire extinguisher you should know if it is suitable for the
flammable material involved in the fire and if electricity
is involved in the fire that the extinguishing agent is
non-conducting. Make yourself familiar with instructions on
how to use it.
safety services recommend the fire extinguisher be
shaken occasionally to prevent the powder settling.
They also recommend you have the fire extinguisher
serviced every six months and pressure tested every
5 years by a qualified person.
Fire & Rescue Services in your state or territory
can be contacted for further information.
best place for the fire extinguisher in your caravan
is where it is easily accessible in the event of an
emergency. Having one close to the kitchen and near
an exit is recommended.
Familiarise yourself with how to operate your fire
extinguisher. The last thing you want to be
doing is grabbing for your glasses so you can read
the instructions on how it works.
When there is
high fire danger, fire restrictions can be imposed and camp
fires should not be lit where there is a fire safety ban.
How can I
prevent campfire burns?
fires an accelerant should not be used.
should be supervised at all times around campfires and
things such as fuel, lighters and matches placed out of
their reach. Ensure children do not wear flammable
manipulating coals for camp oven cooking, it is
advisable to use a long handled shovel. This
will enable you to keep your body and hands far
enough away from the fire (and smoke).
use sand and dirt to extinguish the fire as they can
camouflage the hot coals and retain the heat.
Extinguish the fire using water. Each year a number
of people, particularly children, are treated for
severe campfire related burns. A number of those
burns resulted the morning after a campfire when
children have stepped on the hot coals.
Portable BBQ Safety
If you travel
with a portable BBQ it is recommended you ensure the gas
pressure of any gas cylinder is tested regularly. Also
maintain and check the condition of the hoses and
connections. Keep any flammable liquids away from the BBQ.
When in use,
site the BBQ on firm level ground and away from anything
flammable. Always supervise children around the BBQ area
and ensure matches and lighters are out of reach. Do not
place hot plates on to the ground, at least not until they
have cooled, as it easy for someone to step on them.