I witnessed another RV fire this week and just like the other terrible stories and experiences I have seen or heard about, many of them seem avoidable.
I want to revisit the “stop, drop, and roll” type rules of RV fire safety and offer some additional resources to new RV’ers or perhaps folks who havent read up on the safety issues in a while.
Every RV’er should carefully consider the following RV Fire Safety Tips:
1. Have access to multiple fire extinguishers throughout your RV. It’s also important that all your passengers are aware of where the extinguishers are located. If you have different types be sure they know which works best on what type of fire.
2. Anytime an extinguisher is used at all, recharge or replace it. They also should be inspected or replaced if they are out of date. Be sure to look over the instructions, chances are you won’t get the opportunity if there is a fire.
3. Ensure that your extinguishers contain the proper pressure on the gauge. Keep in mind you should never test an extinguisher by partially discharging it.
4. Many RV fires are a result of transmission fluid leaks which can be set fire by the exhaust system. Check underneath your RV for signs of leaks. Repair any engine or transmission oil leaks as soon as possible, especially on an automatic transmission since transmission fluid is highly flammable. It will ignite easily.
5. The electical system is another common source of fire in an RV. It doesn’t hurt to spot check wiring to make sure the connections are secure. If you notice anything that looks suspicious be sure to have it looked at by an RV technician.
6. Make considerations for evacuation for everyone traveling in your RV and be sure to go over it with them.
7. Do not leave any stove unattended. Some food items, paper towels or window treatments may be ignited by the stove. Be sure to keep combustibles away from the stove as well.
8. Do not use any cooking appliance for comfort heating. Unlike your home, the amount of oxygen supply is smaller as a result of the small size of an RV. Ensure that there is a ventilation system in place while cooking.
9. Install and inspect your smoke alarms / carbon monoxide detectors. It’s an obvious one, but many of the RV fire outcomes could have been reduced or avoided had the smoke alarm operated as it is designed. Most fire experts recommend testing your smoke alarm every 2 weeks or even more often.
This guide by Roadtrip America has more information about proper fire safety on the road.