Fire safety in caravans and mobile homes
By following a few safety tips, you'll keep yourself and your loved ones safe from fire in your caravan or mobile home.
Fire safety tips
- fit a smoke detector and test it at least once a week as blocked air vents can be fatal
- fit a carbon monoxide detector and keep air vents clear
- have a fire escape plan
- smoke outside and keep matches and lighters out of the reach of children
- don’t leave children alone inside
- keep a fire extinguisher inside, by the door and consider getting a fire blanket - know how to use them properly
- don't dry clothes on or right next to a heater
- before going to bed or going outside, turn off all appliances
Using gas cylinders safely
You should take special care when handling gas cylinders. Follow these safety tips:
- install a gas detection system, if possible
- if you think there is a gas leak, turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve – open all the doors and windows
- change gas cylinders only when they are completely empty
- make sure the new cylinder is secure before connecting it
- when changing cylinders, make sure all cylinder valves are turned off before disconnecting
- do not turn on the cylinder valves before the connection is complete
- spare and empty cylinders should be kept in the open air and secured by a safety strap or other quick release device
Follow these basic precautions to reduce the risk of fire:
- never use a cooker or heater while your caravan is moving
- never leave your cooking unattended
- take extra care when cooking with hot fats and oils - never put water on burning oil or fat
- if your chip pan catches fire, do not throw water on it or move the pan because it will only make it worse, instead, turn off the heat if it is safe to do so
- make sure you do not use petrol, paraffin or diesel when lighting a fuel stove
Electrical safety and heating
To prevent electrical and heating fires, follow these safety tips:
- make sure your electrical wiring and appliances are in good order by testing them regularly by a qualified electrician – use a Gas Safe engineer to fix gas heaters
- don’t overload sockets - an adapter with a lead is safer
Plug-in heaters use a lot of electricity and generate a lot of heat. This means they can be dangerous if they are not bought from reputable shops and used correctly.
You should make sure the heating area is well ventilated by opening a door or window.
- not store petrol, diesel or gas containers under your mobile home - it should be stored ideally six metres away from your caravan or mobile home when not in use
- make sure your gas bottle (LPG) is outside, on level ground, away from heat sources - turn gas off when not in use
- make sure the connection to the gas pipe is sound and the bottle secured
Fire safety at sites
When putting your mobile home or caravan in position, it should be at least six metres apart from other mobile homes/ caravans and well away from parked cars.
Make sure you know what the fire arrangements on the camp site are and where the nearest telephone is if you don't have a mobile phone.
Make sure you can get out of a window if needed.
If there is a fire in your caravan or mobile home:
- get everyone out straight away
- call the local fire and rescue service and give your location with a map reference, if possible, or provide a nearby landmark, like a farm
- remember: get out, stay out and get the fire service out
If you suspect a gas leak:
- turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve
- open all doors and windows
- get outside into fresh air
- do not smoke or operate electrical switches