Although we usually focus on RV safety in the summer months, Fire District 3 wants to remind everyone that fire hazards can be present anytime an RV or travel trailer is used or plugged in, particularly in the colder seasons.
Fire Safety for Recreational Vehicles
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Never leave appliances that are plugged in and on unattended.
- Turn off overhead exhaust fans when you leave the RV.
- Don’t leave 12-volt lights on. Keep clothing and other burnable things away from them (like in storage spaces). They get very hot.
- If the flame on your galley stove goes out while in use, unless you have run out of fuel, the gas will continue to flow and could result in an explosion. Turn off the stove and air out the RV before trying to relight.
- Keep all combustibles–from paper towels to curtains–far enough away from your stove that they cannot catch fire.
- Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Deal at once with any leaks or spills, and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. Operate your generator in an area where gasoline fumes cannot reach an ignition source.
- Keep your campsite fire sources, such as fire rings, tiki torches, and lanterns, away from all vehicles.
- RVs often have a very limited number of electrical outlets, and sometimes RVers use powerstrips to plug in more things. Don’t overload the electrical outlets! Circuit breakers don’t always prevent overloads from starting fires!
- It’s best never to use an extension cord in an RV. If you must, make sure you use a HEAVY DUTY extension cord, and make sure the load you put on it is well within its safe load capacity. DON’T run any electrical cord under a carpet or floor mat.
- Test your smoke detector. In many RV fires investigated, they had either no smoke detector or a non-working smoke detector.
- Have at least two escape routes and an escape plan. Practice it.
- Make sure everyone can open the front door, hatches, and emergency exits.
- Ensure that your RV’s carbon monoxide and propane detectors are properly located and functioning.
National Park Service