With camping season in full swing, now is the time to make sure your RV is primed and safety-ready. Every RV owner and renter should be familiar with the safety devices available in their RV and understand how to use them. It only takes a few minutes to make sure your RV is in top condition so you can rest easy during your adventures.
RV travel and camping offer an unforgettable experience to create lasting memories while discovering the beauty of America, but there are inherent risks involved that should not be ignored, particularly the threat of fire.
Fire in an RV can quickly spread, becoming far more hazardous than it would in any ordinary house. As part of your kitchen arsenal, it’s vital that a fire extinguisher be readily available. Aim for one that meets both classes A (solid combustibles such as wood, paper and cloth) as well as B and C requirements (liquid fuels such as gas oil cooking grease and electrical fires).
As a rule, keep curtains and other items away from the RV stove area to prevent an unnecessary fire from starting.
An escape route and emergency evacuation plan should also be practiced with the whole family, making sure all smoke detectors can be tested as well as that each member can access and open emergency exit windows easily.
Many RVs come equipped with smoke/CO detectors, but it’s always wise to have extra ones handy just in case something unexpected should arise. When selecting an additional detector, search for models certified UL (Underwriters Laboratories). These models meet certain stringent standards.
Be mindful that these types of detectors must be replaced regularly; be sure to review their expiry dates so you know when it’s time to buy new ones.
Gas Leak Detector
RVs typically come equipped with a propane gas leak detector that can easily be tested to make sure it’s functioning as intended. They’re usually hardwired into your system, and when they detect trace amounts of propane gas in the air, will activate to trigger ticking, beeping, or flashing alarms so you can quickly isolate and shut off your propane tank – or pinpoint its source so you can take steps to address leaks more effectively.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Propane gas, like carbon monoxide, can be an asphyxiant that can be fatal in high concentrations. Carbon monoxide occurs whenever fossil fuels such as propane burn incompletely due to insufficient oxygen. If properly installed and functioning correctly, a carbon monoxide detector could save lives in times of trouble.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning can be deadly. Be sure to install and test a carbon monoxide detector prior to each trip. This simple device detects carbon monoxide leaks quickly so you can have peace of mind that everyone remains safe while out on the road.
When hearing your CO detector beep, don’t disregard its alert; this could indicate low batteries or that there has been a CO leak. As soon as this occurs, open windows and disable any appliances which could produce carbon monoxide emissions (such as generators). Also, crack open some windows during cooking with propane for ventilation.
For extra safety, consider investing in an integrated carbon monoxide/propane leak detector system.
Emergency Escape Window
Having an escape window and plan in place to evacuate all occupants safely is essential. In an RV fire emergency, all members of your family should know where and how to access the escape window and exit. Also, select an outside meeting location at least 1000 feet from your RV.
Effective RV emergency exit window training should begin before any emergency situation arises, including children and elderly people. Make sure they know to activate the red emergency lever, cord, or handle in order to break open their emergency window wide enough so they can exit safely.