|Gearing Up For Summer Safety - Car and Recreational Vehicle Fire Safety|
|By PIO / Fire Prevention Officer Scot Best|
|June 1, 2021|
Every year, we look forward to summer vacations, camping, family reunions, and picnics. Summertime, however, can also bring unwanted fires and injuries due to these outdoor activities. During the month of June, the Ridge VFD will share summer fire safety tips on various topics. This week, we focus on Car and Recreational Vehicle Fire Safety.
Summertime means that families will be travelling for vacation. The months of June, July, and August are said to have the most motor vehicle incidents. Whether you are driving to a vacation destination or vacationing in a motorhome or camper trailer, there are fire hazards to avoid. Two of the most common vehicle fires come from a mechanical or electrical failure. Just as a fire escape plan is needed at home, you should know how to safely get out of your car or recreational vehicle in case of a fire or accident. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), on average, it takes about four minutes for fire to reach the passenger compartment.
The following are some important vehicle fire safety tips:
• Make sure your car, RV, or camper are in working order before you hit the open road.
• Ensure the vehicle is properly maintained (i.e., check for damaged or loose wiring; check for oil or fuel leaks; maintain your car battery).
• Do NOT leave flammables in your car (e.g., gasoline, explosives, lighter fluid, aerosol cans, nail polish, alcohol, etc.).
• Respond immediately when a strange odor (e.g., gasoline, burning rubber, burning plastic), smoke or flames are present. A clear indication is if it comes from under the hood or wheel area.
• RVs and campers need smoke alarms too! Make sure you have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms when you set off on your adventure.
• The stove is the most common cause of RV and camper fires. Never leave your cooking unattended and make sure you have working smoke alarms!
• Know two ways out of your RV. Make sure windows open easily. Have everyone practice the fire escape plan.
• In RVs/campers, refrigerators, furnaces, ovens and stovetops use propane. Check them for leaks. Keep an updated gas leak detector on board.
• Travel with a portable fire extinguisher and a safety kit.
• If your car or RV/camper is on fire, safely pull over, turn off the engine, get everyone at least 100 feet from the car and traffic. Call 911.