Fire Safety


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    When it comes to fire, I don’t think you can ever be “too” safe; not only is your rig at risk but possibly your lives. Of course we all have smoke/fire alarms, we all check them regularly, and replace the batteries before needed. But how about your fire extinguishers? Yeah, plural! I am a “Plan B” sort of guy so I have a large extinguisher by the front door where I can get to it either coming or going. I also have a smaller one in the bedroom in case we either have to buy time getting out the escape window or to put out a small fire an the way to the bigger one up front.

    My rig came with a small one that would only be suitable for putting out a stove fire before it got away but would (from experience) be pretty worthless on an engine or house fire. If I was hauling at trailer, I would have a big on in it as well.

    We all check our tires but when was the last time you checked the charge in your extinguisher? (be right back have to check mine….. Back, its good. I gave it a good shake in hopes of keeping the powder from clumping. If you have a rechargeable, might be a good idea to have it certified. Check with your local fire department; they are more than willing to help you with that.

    Speaking of… have you ever used a fire extinguisher like the one you have? Again, check with your local fire department. They might help you set up a local clinic or even provide personal training. It is my experience that most fire departments will bend over backwards to help you prevent the need to call them. In the meantime, let me mention two common mistakes is not pointing at the base of the flames (the material that is burning) and quitting too soon. With volatiles like gasoline or diesel, hot metal from the original will reignite the fuel. Empty the extinguisher, you can’t use it again anyway.

    Of course, preventing the fire in the first place is the best plan. Just like in your stationary home, we rely one circuit breakers/fuses to prevent an overload from resulting in a fire but loose or oxidized contacts can overheat a switch or socket. I rented a house that had aluminum wiring (dumb idea). The shrink/swell of the metal loosened the screws on the outlets which got very hot. And we all know of safety regarding smoking in bet, candles, and stoves and such. But vehicles have a often overlooked hazards, esp. for you boondockers; the catalytic converters. It doesn’t happen too often but once is too often if it is your rig. Not only that it is bad enough that your RV or pulling truck will likely burn to the ground but, to add insult it injury, you may get to pay for the wildfire that results. That fire can start two ways: 1) You parked on some dry vegetation — easily preventable and 2) you got some dry vegetation packed up against the converter — also easily preventable by checking every time you drive over dry vegetation. Don’t forget to check before you pull out from your boondocking site after camping for a week. Packrats, have a way of thinking the converter will make a nice nesting area — nice and save from snakes and hawks, right?

    What have I missed? These are just the things I have first hand (or close second hand) experiences with.

    Eddie & Aileen

    Good stuff George, We have 3 inside the fiver, 1-in front master bedroom,1-at the door near kitchen (midship), and 1-in the back room. All are First Alert ABC extingusihers, also have larger FA ABC extingusiher in outside compartment in quick reaching area & one in the truck.All the family knows where thay are and how to use thelm to get you out of the trailer, ect. Thanks for putting this up,fire info is the best PM you can have on a RV.


    Thanks George

    Wrote up a blog post on RV fire safety tips last year –

    I keep a big extinguisher in the bedroom and another in the truck cab, and there is the little small one that came with the trailer. And another in the fivers basement storage.


    Ray, how did I miss that blog?? I knew you kept a ladder outside. Even though we have discussed our escape plans, I can’t decide whether I should go out the escape window first and help Ann out or have her go first and man the extinguisher while see escapes. With Anne’s back issues, how are planning it?

    It is great Eddie and Alleen to have the whole family on the same page.

    I hope everybody takes a minute to read your blog. It hadn’t occurred to me to get the propane system re-certified.


    I figure it would be best to help Anne out first as she isn’t very agile and may need assistance getting through the small bedroom window, hopefully I can lower her down from above, I’m sure with the adrenaline rush it will give me the strength. Then I can climb out.


    Thanks Ray, That is what I was thinking too for the same reason. Hopefully, we will never find out.

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