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RV Fire Safety

An RV is generally a much greater fire hazard than a brick and stick home.

Your brick and stick home was most likely built with fire suppressing materials, such as sheetrock and thick plywood, to slow down a fire. But your RV, on the other hand, is made with mostly (how can I say this delicately) kindling and thin petroleum-based synthetics (gasoline solids?).

Right. They don’t burn slowly.

If your RV catches on fire, you have like 20 seconds to get it put out before it becomes uncontrollable. You have maybe 60 seconds to get everyone out before they die.


Am I being too realistic here? Go hug a puppy, and disassociate yourself from reality for awhile, and then come back.

Also, a stick and brick home generally does not have gasoline and propane tanks strapped beneath the living room floor. But in an RV, you would likely be dead by the time these ignited.

The #1 cause of fires in motorhomes is engine fires. These fires can be caused by fuel leaks, electrical shorts, and excessively dirty engines. Keep your engine compartment clean and well maintained. You can also add a fire suppression system under the hood.

The #1 cause of fires in trailers is wheel bearings. These bearings must be routinely and religiously maintained.

Propane malfunctions are the second most common cause for fires in RVs, and the #1 cause of fires in parked RVs. All should be equipped with a gas leak detector. All propane equipment should be regularly checked, cleaned, and monitored.

Electrical wiring can be faulty, aged, or damaged, and can lead to fire. Cooking incidents also cause fires. Outdoor kitchens should be monitored, maintained, and cleaned as rigorously as indoor kitchens. Campfires should be kept a safe distance from your RV.

Not only is it incredibly stupid to cook while traveling down the road, you should completely shut off the propane before driving.

Many people drive their RV with their propane refrigerator turned on. And maybe their propane water heater, and maybe their propane heater. And, we could also add cooking on the propane stove, while traveling down the road, to that list. These all produce an open flame. What happens if you’re in an accident, and there’s a gasoline or propane leak?

And, will you remember to turn all these appliances off when you stop at a gas station? Having an open flame at a gas station is just asking for trouble. Ever see some idiot smoking while pumping gas? That idiot could be you.

Always have at least 2 smoke detectors, and at least 2 fire extinguishers, in your RV. Have a working fire escape plan. And, be mentally prepared to act in an instant.

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