Carry on camping: 5 safety tips
The British summer is drawing to an end but with the August Bank Holiday on the horizon and an assortment of festivals left to savour, including Reading and Bestival, there are still plenty of opportunities to jump in your campervan or pitch a tent.
Keep safe this camping season with our gas and fire tips:
- Never bring disposable barbeques or portable heating appliances inside
A number of campsite deaths have linked to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning from barbeques in recent years.
You can’t smell, see, or taste a carbon monoxide leak, and the gas can build up to fatal levels particularly quickly in enclosed spaces such as tents and caravans. So even if it looks like the coals have cooled off, never bring your portable barbeque inside, and the same rule applies for portable heating appliances that use fuels such as paraffin, gas or kerosene.
- Install a CO alarm in your mobile home
Fixed heating appliances in caravans and motorhomes that are flued are usually safe as toxic gases are directed outside. However, on a windy day the gases can be blown back inside, which is why it’s so important to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed so you’ll be alerted if the toxic gas is present in your temporary living quarters.
- Regularly get your mobile home’s gas appliances serviced
You may not be in your caravan or motorhome as often as your bricks-and-mortar home but it still needs servicing on a regular basis to prevent a gas leak putting your family in danger on your next holiday.
To read more about gas safety inspections, click here.
- Pitch your tent at a sensible distance from your neighbours
If a gas explosion occurs and a fire breaks out, tents will rapidly burn due to their flammable materials. Where possible, try to keep your tent at least six metres away from other tents to reduce the spread of fire.
- Ensure you know the campsite’s fire-fighting arrangements and where the nearest extinguishers and sources of water are located
Find out the safeguarding information from the campsite manager, so you can be prepared should the worst happen.
If your clothes catch fire, try not to run around in panic, as this will only fuel the flames with oxygen and make them burn faster. Instead, smother the flames with a heavy material (such as a coat or blanket) or roll on the ground until the flames go out.