When you arrive at a site and if possible, site your caravan at least 6 metres away from your neighbour’s. This will help stop the spread of a fire if the worst does happen. If you have fire extinguishers on board (which of course you should have) make sure they are in working order before you leave home and locate any fire fighting equipment on site. If you’re going to be Fireman Sam for the evening albeit in a caravan or motorhome rather than a big red fire engine, it’s worth knowing which direction to run in to find the hose!
Just as you would at home, make sure you have at least one smoke alarm in your caravan and a carbon monoxide one too. When you have fitted them to your vehicle, check that they are working. Fit new batteries to the smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in your caravan at the start of the season. It probably won’t invalidate your insurance if you don’t but it might save your life if you do.
A fire in your kitchen is probably the most likely cause of extensive damage to your caravan or motorhome and you will want to save the hassle of a big insurance claim, so, tempting as it may be to sit outside in the sunshine with a glass of Chablis whilst the steak is grilling, you should never leave your caravan cooker unattended. If you have a chip pan too, invest in a fire blanket and keep the handles of your saucepans turned inward to lessen the chances of spillage. Remember, it’s not only your caravan that can be damaged, you can too and that’s not something that can be put right by a claim on your insurance.
If you’re one of the few people left on the planet who enjoy a smoke in their caravan or motorhome, always ensure that cigarettes and cigars are extinguished correctly and cannot reignite. Don’t use plastic ashtrays and don’t tip the butt into a bin of any description – stick to metal or glass ashtrays. Better still – don’t smoke! Your insurance bills will be lower (that’s your life insurance we mean, not your caravan or motorhome insurance!) and you will feel better for it. That’s what everyone says anyway! Smoking in your bed is very dangerous at home and even more so in your caravan or motorhome. If you happen to fall asleep you could easily set fire to your bedding and it goes without saying that you should keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
With the weather we have in this country it’s always a good idea to have gear on board your motorhome or caravan that will help you to keep warm. Most of us will rely on a fan heater but remember this can be a fire hazard! Never block or cover your heater with anything (tempting as it may be to dry clothes in the middle of our balmy summer evenings!) and pay attention too to the condition of cables and plugs, as they can easily be damaged by normal use out of the house. With most caravans and motorhomes having only limited sockets it might be tempting to overload them but please don’t! It’s dangerous and it might invalidate your insurance if you do. It’s all common sense really, but to sum up, use your common sense, buy some caravan or motorhome insurance and most of all, have fun!