Ensuring safety during holiday park season

Holiday season is around the corner, making it an ideal time for campsites and caravan parks to make vital checks to ensure they’re compliant with fire safety regulations and legislation. An average of 360 fires occur in caravans every year – it’s crucial the right fire-fighting equipment and precautionary measures are put in place.

Here, we take a look at the legislation that caravan park owners must adhere to and consider the main potential risks around the area.

Gas and electric appliances must be regularly serviced
The clauses of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 should be complied with at all time. Most caravans use both gas and electric, therefore it’s important to acknowledge that correct maintenance and safety regulations are observed. All gas appliances must be installed in accordance with current gas safety requirements and the appliance manufacturer’s instructions. This is to comply with the law and ensure minimal risk to families using the facilities.

Ensure fire safety equipment is close to hand
Fire safety is of the utmost importance – there are several devices that should be close to hand for use in the unfortunate event of a fire. As they are in a home, carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms are absolute essentials for fire safety. A smoke alarm is often the first alert for fires happening through the night. Although little maintenance is required throughout their life, there are a few measures that should be taken to ensure the device is working how it should. A smoke alarm should be tested weekly and regularly vacuumed to pick up any dust around the unit. Viral social campaign #TestItTuesday is drawing attention to this in an effort to remind landlords and caravan site owners that weekly checks are crucial in adhering to regulations. The unit’s batteries need replacing every year and the whole component needs completely replacing after 10.

Caravan parks and campsites can be vast areas. For this reason, it’s wise to install a site alarm that can be easily heard should a fire break out and alert people to the need to move to safety.

With holidaymakers cooking in enclosed spaces, there’s a heightened risk of a potential fire becoming quickly out of hand. A wet chemical or multi-purpose extinguisher, like the MultiCHEM, is ideal for any fire caused by igniting cooking oils and fats. In addition, a fire blanket kept in the kitchen will support in cutting off the oxygen to the contents of a pan when used correctly. MultiCHEM units are ideal for installation inside caravans and tents thanks to their compact size (two and three litres) and unrivalled performance.

Measures to protect fire safety equipment
BS 5306 Standards outlines a responsibility to protect vital fire safety equipment – especially those stored in an outdoor environment. Extinguishers within public access are at risk of vandalism, accidental damage, misuse or tampering – cabinets provide an effective solution for protection. The new Commander Safety Box with Contact Alarm offers ideal storage for up to four 6ltr water or foam or 6kg powder fire extinguishers in outdoor settings. Winter brings additional concerns for certain extinguishers stored outside. Water and foam extinguishers risk their contents freezing during the colder months, meaning in the event of a fire they’re rendered useless. Anti-freeze extinguishers contain an additive that enables them to withstand low temperatures and harsh environments.

Emergency vehicle routes must be kept free from obstruction
To prevent the spread of fire on site, caravans should be placed with at least six metres between caravan walls and at least three metres clear of associated equipment and the adjacent caravan. The fast-approaching barbeque season can also mean there is an increasing number of awnings and tents around the site. A fire can destroy a tent in less than 60 seconds, so ensure a bucket of water is readily available as a quick go-to safety solution. Keep exit routes clear around a caravan site ensuring that a pathway is clear of obstruction.

Appropriate fire signage across the site
Suitable fire warning systems should be readily available across all premises in the case of an emergency evacuation. Ensuring everyone is clear on the escape route if the worst should happen can be the difference between an injury and fatality. It is imperative that holidaymakers are aware of what is expected of them in the event of a fire, which means being prepared and communicating effectively. Clearly posted signage to inform of exit routes, location of equipment and procedures is vital in the case of emergency to create an understanding of expectations among visitors. Fire extinguisher signs and ones that instruct certain actions leave users of the site in no doubt as to what they should do. 

Careful planning and installation of all the right equipment ahead of holiday season will ensure caravan parks and campsites remain legally compliant and that all holidaymakers are kept safe from the threat of fire.

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The content of the CheckFire blog is for general information purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, under no circumstances should it be considered professional advice. Any reliance you place on the information is at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a fire professional for your particular circumstances and requirements.
  • by Toria Jones

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