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Recreational Vehicle Fire Safety

 Overview

Recreational vehicles are a popular way to enjoy all that Oregon has to offer. Whether you use your RV as your residence, for traveling, or both, it's important to understand fire prevention and safety of your vehicle to protect you and your family.

 

RV Safety Tips 

Cooking Appliances

Safe Operation:

  • Make sure to have proper ventilation before operating the appliance.
  • Open an overhead vent or turn on the exhaust fan.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire away from burners.
  • Never use cooking appliances for heating.

If you Smell Gas:

  • Check your stove knobs to make sure they are in the off position.
  • Put out all open flames (pilot lights, lamps, smoking materials, etc.).
  • Shut off the gas supply.
  • Do not operate electrical switches. Turning a switch on or off can create a spark and may cause an explosion.
  • Open doors, windows and vents.
  • Leave the RV until the odor is gone.
  • Have the gas system checked and repaired by a qualified professional.

Electric Heaters

  • All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn such as paper, furniture, bedding, or curtains, at least three feet from heating equipment.
  • Plug space heaters directly into an electrical outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips.
  • Purchase and use portable space heaters with automatic shut-off, so if they're tipped over, they will shut off.
  • Place space heaters on a solid, flat surface. 

General Electrical Safety

  • Make sure the power cord connecting the RV to the campground electricity supply is in good condition.
  • Inspect for cracked or damaged cords, broken plugs, or loose connections on all appliances.
  • Avoid electrical overload. Limit the number of appliances operating at one time.  

Fire Extinguishers

  • Have an extinguisher installed near the primary exit and know how to use it. When in doubt, just get out.
  • Extinguishers are meant to put out small fires.
  • Use extinguishers only if it can be done without putting yourself or others in danger.
  • Once a month, turn dry chemical extinguishers upside down and tap on the bottom to loosen the powder.
  • Make sure the needle on the gauge is in the green, indicating it is fully charged.  

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Alarms

  • Install a CO alarm inside your RV.
  • If the alarm chirps, replace the batteries or the entire alarm, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Replace CO alarms based on manufacturer's recommendations.

Smoke Alarms

  • Install a smoke alarm inside your RV.
  • If the alarm chirps, replace the batteries or the entire alarm, depending on manufacturer's recommendations.
  • Replace smoke alarms every 10 years. 

Fire Escape Plan

  • Make sure emergency exit windows and hatches are clearly marked and in good working order.
  • Make sure all occupants know where and how to operate escape windows.
  • Keep exit routes unobstructed.
  • If the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out. Call 911 from outside.  

Resources 

Recreational Vehicle Fire Safety​