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Bach, Boat, Caravan & Tent: getting fire safety sorted for summer!

Getting ready for summer fun? Get your caravan fire equipment sorted, your tent fire systems in place, and your boat fire extinguishers in order before you go!

fire safety while on holiday

Summer is coming: and although the mornings still have a nip in the air and the evenings are definitely less-than-tropical, it won’t be long before we can shed some layers and fire up the BBQ. Of course, with summer weather comes summer action: camping, boating, bach living and caravanning; us Kiwis love our outdoor activities, and while the sun shines, we’ll be out playing! While we all love being out and about however, many of us don’t have adequate fire protection for our tents, our baches, our caravans and our boats – putting ourselves and our families in unnecessary risk.

It’s easy to be prepared for the unexpected – simply have these basics on hand for mobile fire protection, and you’ll be good to go!

Fire safety for caravans

When heading out on the road with your mobile home or retro caravan, it’s always a good idea to have your fire equipment within easy reach: preparing for the unexpected. Fire, when it takes hold in a caravan, is a fast and furious event. You’ll need to act fast if you want to save your beautiful caravan, and you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment available. So, what fire equipment do you need for a caravan? Andrew, the fire equipment specialist at Fireco, recommends having a 1.5-2.5kg dry powder extinguisher with a discharge hose. The importance of having a larger volume fire extinguisher lies in the amount of time it will discharge for – in a caravan, you would want a discharge time of at least 14-15 seconds, which will give the greatest chance of quickly smothering any fire. Also, dry powder is safe for small, enclosed spaces, as the powder is non-toxic.

Andrew also recommended having a fire blanket on hand in your caravan, giving a quick and effective option for smothering flames – especially when clothing or a person is engulfed.

fire safety and equipment whangareiFire safety for boats

Getting your fire equipment in order on your boat is an immediate concern: there is nothing more dangerous than an uncontrolled fire on a boat. Stopping the fire before it reaches the engines or the waterline is imperative, which is why Andrew recommends choosing a minimum extinguisher size of 2.5kgs. This will give a discharge time of around 14-16 seconds, allowing sufficient dry powder to coat and smother the fire. While a dry powder is messier than a wet extinguisher, it is a much safer and more effective option. Boats over 10 meters in size, and any boats used for chartering or income, must comply with the Maritime NZ fire safety standards.

Having a fire blanket available within the galley of your boat is also very important, as it will offer the immediate smothering of a galley fire, which can be deadly when on a boat.

Fire Safety for baches

Traditionally, most kiwi baches have a standard 1kg fire extinguisher (that’s if they have anything at all!). Unfortunately, a 1kg extinguisher will only give you an average discharge of around 11 seconds.

This is completely inadequate for large areas, and is, in fact, suited to small enclosed spaces such as within vehicles. If you are serious about protecting your bach from an out of control fire risk, then you’ll be wanting to install a 2.5kg dry powder extinguisher with a discharge hose. Anything smaller than this will leave you vulnerable; as once an extinguisher is completely discharged, the fire will run unchecked. Another must-have within your bach is the 1.8mtr fire blanket, which allows for fast and effective smothering of flames.

Fire equipment for tentsFire safety for tents and camping

Camping presents many fire hazard scenarios – from the gas cooker, to the BBQ and the brazier, a campground can easily become engulfed. Adding to the danger is the extreme flammability of many tent materials, which can easily entrap the occupants. Of course, common sense plays a big role in preventing fires while camping, and rules such as cooking away from the tent, watching for sparks, and not leaving any source of flame or heat unattended are important to observe. It’s also important to remember your spacing rules between tents, to avoid the spreading of an out-of-control fire once it has begun. From a fire equipment perspective, you’ll be wanting to have a fire blanket within easy reach, and a 2.5kg dry powder extinguisher. Your fire blanket is ideal for overturned BBQs, to wrap a person in, and for all-round fire protection.

Remember: have your fire equipment within easy reach at all times, and make sure you are able to use the PASS code quickly when needed: Pull the tag from the extinguisher, Aim the extinguisher’s nozzle, Squeeze the extinguisher trigger, and Sweep the nozzle to cover the fire!

Contact our friendly team at Fireco for fire equipment, fire systems, and professional fire equipment training.

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