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Camping and caravanning

Between 2018 - 2021 42% of adults have been on a camping or caravan holiday, according to market researchers Mintel. Of these about 38% were sleeping in a tent or caravan for the first time, it estimated.

It has been shown that spending time outdoors can have benefits to your physical and mental health but we would like to remind people that fire safety doesn’t stop when you leave your home. Here are some of our top safety tips for enjoying camping and caravanning.

Top tips

Ensure caravans and tents are at least six metres apart and away from parked cars, to reduce the risk of fire spreading.

  • Keep a torch handy for emergencies – never use lighted candles.
  • Make sure you know the campsite’s fire safety arrangements and check where the nearest telephone is.

Using gas cylinders

  • Don’t use petrol or paraffin to light a solid fuel stove.
  • Keep flammable liquids (such as petrol and gas cylinders) outside and away from children.
  • Only change gas cylinders when they’re completely empty and store them away from caravans and vehicles.
  • Make sure the gas pipe connection is secure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the main cylinder valve.
  • Never smoke whilst changing your gas

Staying in a tent

Never use candles in or near a tent – torches are safer.

  • Keep cooking appliances away from the tent walls as they could easily set alight.
  • Consider having a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Never cook inside a tent.
  • Don’t cook near flammable materials or long grass, they can set alight easily.
  • Make sure you know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there is a fire.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to put out clothing that’s on fire – stop, drop and roll.
  • Don’t smoke inside tents.

Staying in a caravan

  • Fit and test a smoke alarm in your caravan.
  • Consider fitting a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go out or to bed.
  • Don’t smoke inside the caravan. Smoke outdoors and put cigarettes right out – this is safer than smoking in the caravan.
  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn – and never smoke in bed.
  • Don’t dry clothes over the stove.
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Make sure the caravan is ventilated, and never block air vents, to avoid a build up of poisonous gases.

Consider keeping a fire extinguisher by the entrance, but always read the instructions before using it.

What to do if there is a fire

  • Keep calm and get everyone out as quickly as you can.
  • Call the fire and rescue service and give the exact location. Use the app What3words,  give a map reference, or a landmark such as a farm or pub.