Thank you First Alert for sponsoring this post. October is Fire Prevention Month! Help ensure your home and family are ready for the unexpected by installing smoke & CO alarms and having fire extinguishers!

Hey Tribe, did you know that October is Fire Prevention Month? So it’s the perfect time that we have a chat about RV fire safety. I know, I know. It is not something that we want to think about. But the truth is that a fire can happen anywhere… including in an RV. The average RV has roughly 400 square feet of living space and is made of a lot of flammable material, which means that a fire has the potential to spread quickly. Whether you live in your RV full-time or are weekend warriors, an ounce of prevention can make all the difference!

So, let’s address the elephant in the room. Talking about fire prevention can feel really heavy. I know how much you want to daydream about your amazing itinerary and think about the cool amenities at your campground. But if something goes wrong, having a plan ahead of time could save not only your life but also your family’s life and other campers around you.

Fire Safety with First Alert

Be PREPARED!

If you think back to your earliest elementary school memories, I bet you can remember when the fire department would come and talk to you about fire safety. If you were lucky, you got to toot the horn in the fire truck or navigate your way through the fire safety house, which I called “the smokey house.” You probably also remember what to do in the event of a fire… STOP, DROP, and ROLL!

You want to plan and execute your RV escape plan in this same manner so that it becomes second nature to you in the event of an emergency. Be sure that your RV escape plan has at least two possible escape routes from the RV and organize a meeting place outside a safe distance away from your RV for a headcount (including pets). Be sure to practice this plan at least twice a year! When practicing your RV escape plan, be sure that everyone in the family knows how to work the emergency hatches and exits (even the kiddos). And be sure to remind everyone that their lives are worth more than any of their belongings. Safely evacuating is of the utmost importance.

PREVENTION Tips:

  • Don’t use your stove or oven as a heat source
  • Don’t leave your cooking unattended
  • Make sure to keep anything flammable (towels, oven mitts, food packaging, wooden utensils, etc.) away from your stovetop.
  • Always keep a lid handy when cooking to place over the pan in case of fire.
  • Store flammable liquids away from open flames
  • Don’t leave space heaters unattended
  • NEVER remove your smoke alarms or remove the batteries without replacing them

The #1 cause of fires is unattended cooking. If you have a fire while cooking:

  • NEVER use water on a grease fire.
  • If oil ignites in a pan, smother the fire with the lid. Leave the lid on until it has completely cooled.
  • Turn off the heat source immediately.
  • If the fire cannot be immediately extinguished, GET OUT! Your life is more important than your belongings. Be sure to close the door behind you to help contain the fire.
  • Turn off the propane to your RV.
  • Call 911 or the local emergency number from a safe distance outside the RV.

Fire Safety with First Alert

Fire Extinguishers

As I am sure you already know, RVs come with a fire extinguisher from the factory. Ours is right next to the front door. That seems safe enough, right? But how fast can you get to the door fire extinguisher if a fire starts in the kitchen? What if the fire starts at the other end of your fifth wheel? Seconds matter, so I recommend having at least 3 fire extinguishers in your RV. We added the First Alert Home Fire Extinguishers to the kitchen and our room! If you have a large RV, you may want to consider an additional fire extinguisher. Be sure when you are purchasing a fire extinguisher that you pay close attention to the extinguisher class.

  Class A: Ordinary Combustibles (think paper)
  Class B: Flammable liquids like gas and oil
  Class C: Electrical

Fire Extinguisher Placement Ideas:
  Kitchen
  Bedroom or Bunk rooms
  In your truck
  In the “basement” or outside compartment of the RV

Fire Safety with First Alert

 

RV fire safety is a critical part of living the RV life. Do you know the answers to these fire prevention questions?

Where are your fire escape windows?

Make sure you (and your family) know where the fire escape windows are in your RV. Open and test them regularly. I would also recommend exiting through the escape window at least once a year so that you can better gauge how far the drop is to the ground. You can also use bedding to help cushion the rim of the window to prevent injuries.

Where are your fire extinguishers?

Does everyone in the house know where all of the fire extinguishers are located? If not, incorporate these things into your fire safety meetings!

Do you know how to operate a fire extinguisher?

Here’s an easy acronym to remember it by PASS

Pull pin

Aim at the base of the fire

Squeeze handle

Sweep from side to side

RV Pre-trip Fire Safety checklist:

  • Ensure all hoses are tight, and there are no cracks to avoid flammable liquids igniting in the engine area.
  • Keep the engine compartment clean of excess grease and dirt that increases the chances of fire under the hood.
  • Ensure there is adequate insulation around electrical wiring
  • Overheated tires and brakes can also cause fires. Check for proper inflation of all tires
  • Do not drive with the propane on. It can increase the danger if an accident or other mechanical fire occurs.

RV Fire Safety Tips:

  • Inspect your rig regularly for potential problems.
  • Store all of your essential documents in a fireproof safe or fireproof bag, so that you don’t have to stress about gathering or losing them in the event of a fire.
    • Irreplaceable photos and mementos
    • Important medication (a couple of days supply)
    • Irreplaceable documents
  • Take a photo of your site number as soon as you check-in. Yep, even before you do your hookups. The information is critical if you need to call 9-1-1 for a fire emergency.

When dealing with a fire, it is essential to remain calm and move quickly through the established escape route you have rehearsed. Knowledge is POWER, and Fire Safety Prevention can give you the power to save your life in the event of a fire in your RV!

RV Fire Safety meeting