Caravan fire safety tips

When staying in a caravan, a working smoke alarm is just as important as having one in your home. 

If a fire breaks out in a caravan or mobile home it is always serious, so please make sure you know what the fire arrangements on the camp site are, and where the nearest telephone is.

Video - caravan fire safety

Inside the caravan:

  • Caravans should be fitted with a smoke detector and have the dry powder fire extinguisher located near the door - optical alarms are usually most effective.

  • If you smoke, use metal ashtrays - and never smoke in bed.

  • Don't leave children alone inside.

  • Don't block air vents - if any leaking gas builds up you may fall unconscious and be unable to escape. Always keep the caravan ventilated. Ensure that air vents are clear - if air vents get blocked, it could be fatal.

  • Turn off all appliances before you leave the caravan or go to bed.

  • Never use a cooker or heater whilst your caravan is moving.

  • When cooking, don't leave any pans unattended.

  • Find out the firefighting arrangements on the camp site.

  • Don't dry clothes over the stove.

  • Keep children away from matches or lighters.

  • Children should never be left alone in a caravan.

  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.

  • We recommended that you have the following safety equipment for caravans: fire blanket, smoke alarm, dry powder extinguisher.

  • Gas cylinders should be kept outside the caravan. Gas cylinders should be turned off unless they are designed to run continuously and you should only change the bottle when they are completely empty.

  • If you suspect that there is a gas leak, turn off all appliances and the main cylinder valve, open all doors and windows and do not smoke or turn on any electrical switches or appliances until you have been given the all clear.

  • Never use fuel-burning devices inside the caravan (e.g. disposable barbecues, camping stoves, camping heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills). See below for more information about Carbon Monoxide awareness

Be carbon monoxide aware

Never use fuel-burning devices (e.g. disposable barbecues, camping stoves, camping heaters, lanterns, and charcoal grills) inside a caravan. Using these indoors can cause Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.

They give off fumes for hours and hours after you have used them - levels high enough to result in CO poisoning.

To avoid hazardous CO exposures, fuel-burning equipment should never be used inside a tent, camper, or other enclosed shelter.

Fuel-burning equipment can include:

  • Camping stoves

  • camping heaters

  • lanterns

  • charcoal grills

  • disposable barbecues.

Opening doors and windows (and tent flaps) is insufficient to prevent build-up of CO concentrations from these devices.

Also, when using fuel-burning devices outdoors, the exhaust should not vent into enclosed shelters.

If there's a fire in your caravan:

  • Get everyone out straight away.

  • Call the fire and rescue service and give your location with a map reference, if possible, or provide a nearby landmark, such as a farm.

Last updated: Wednesday, 21 June 2023