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July 2019


Caravan blaze

Fire precautions could prevent scenes like this

Three deaths since 2015

RV blazes spark plea from concerned firies

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SOUTH Australia's firefighters have pleaded with travellers to be "fire safe" when in their caravans and other RVs.

The Metropolitan and Country fire services report that during the past four calendar years, there have been 62 fires involving RVs, with another six already this year across the state.

Three people have tragically died in South Australian RV fires since 2015.

Recreational vehicles include caravans, camper trailers, motorhomes and all other forms of mobile accommodation.

Metropolitan Fire Service community education officer Vinny Schar said the fires had been caused by an array of reasons, such as unattended cooking and electrical appliances.

"People need to remember that caravans and other RVs still need to be treated like a home, and this includes ensuring that there is a working smoke alarm installed," he said.

"In South Australia if an occupied RV is onsite for 60 days or longer a hard-wired or 10-year, long life, non-removable and non-replaceable battery-powered smoke alarm is required by law."

'The importance of having an escape
plan for the family'

Mr Schar stressed the importance of having an escape plan for the family in case of a fire.

RVs should also be equipped with a fire blanket and portable fire extinguisher.

"A fire blanket and fire extinguisher is your first line of defence should a small fire occur," he explaned.

"They should be located near an exit where they are easily accessible and where escape is also an option.

"Remember though, your life is far more important than your RV so ensuring you exit safely is the number one priority.

"Once you have exited the RV contact the Fire Service on 000."

Country Fire Service State Duty Commander Nik Stanley explained that it was also important to observe the surroundings when parking an RV.

"If you're in an area which allows camp fires, ensure it is set up in a location clear of vegetation and at least three metres away from the RV," he said.

"Make sure the camp fire is completely extinguished with water before you leave the camp site."

Tips for fire safety in RVs:

* Ensure any integrated gas or electrical systems are installed and maintained by a qualified tradesperson.
* Turn off the gas cylinder valve before travelling.
* Cook with care ... never leave cooking unattended.
* Keep gas/electric heaters clear of internal fittings. Turn heaters off at power point or gas cylinder before going to bed.
* Dispose of cigarettes carefully. Provide deep-sided ashtrays. Never smoke in bed.
* Switch off all electrical appliances at the power point and unplug when not in use.


 No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted without
the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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