As published in GoRV, May Edition 2020
We are all very aware of the dangers of fire here in Australia, particularly with the recent bushfires that have been labelled the worst fire season on record, claiming many lives, loss of property and a reported 1 billion animals!
We were in Yeppoon, Queensland, in November last year when the reality of these fires hit home. Finding ourselves in the midst of a very scary situation prompted us to create an emergency plan and grab bag, two things we hadn’t even considered when we set off on our adventure around Australia.
Now in Tasmania the cold weather means cranking the diesel heater daily to keep the van warm, and lots more indoor cooking. When we first arrived on the Apple Isle, we had the opportunity to show a friend through our Coromal Element Evolution. Being a Tassie Fire Station Officer his first question was “Where are your smoke alarms?”, quickly followed by “Where is your carbon monoxide detector?”
Still considering ourselves relative newbies to this lifestyle, we hadn’t even thought about these safety essentials! He said we wouldn’t believe how quickly a fire in a van will escalate, as it has a high fire loading in a relatively small space. Sadly tragic caravan fires do occur, as does carbon monoxide poising, as was seen recently with a young family in WA.
These inexpensive and simple to install solutions could very well save you and your family’s lives. Recommended safety tips for RV’s:
– Install photoelectric smoke alarms with a hush button (RV models are available from hardware stores)
⁃ Check alarms before every trip or once a week if full time living
⁃ Install a carbon monoxide detector
⁃ Ensure you have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket
⁃ Turn off all gas cylinders while the caravan is being towed or campervan engine is on
⁃ Turn off all appliances not being used before going to bed
⁃ Have an emergency plan
⁃ Have a grab bag of essentials ready to go
⁃ Never leave cooking unattended
⁃ Store all flammable liquids outside the caravan or motorhome
⁃ Ensure that the extension lead for connecting electricity supply to your RV is in good condition
Check out our RV Fire Safety Tips & Must Do’s video for more details to keep you safe on the road.
~ Katie Guerin