Be fire safe at the campsite this New Year

Published: 6th January 2014

Fire & Rescue NSW Commissioner, Greg Mullins, is urging the thousands of holiday makers who will spend the first weeks of the year camping or in caravans to be fire safe.

"There is something special about camping, being in the outdoors with family and friends, but it can turn into tragedy," Commissioner Mullins said.

"Whether you're holidaying in a caravan or a tent, you need to take the same fire safety precautions you would in your home," he said.

In the past 10 years, FRNSW firefighters have attended nearly 1,000 incidents, in caravans, campervans and mobile homes, with more than 60 injuries and eight fatalities.

Commissioner Mullins said there were 131 caravan and mobile property fires last year, with 42 occurring during the Christmas holiday break.

"Working smoke alarms are mandatory in all new and existing moveable dwellings where people sleep, regardless of whether they’re registered for road use or not," Commissioner Mullins said.

Commissioner Mullins said campers should be cautious with open flames around tents and caravans, including cigarettes.

He said that in October, a fire most likely started by a discarded cigarette quickly moved through a car park outside the Homebush Aquatic Centre destroying 47 cars and severely damaging 33 others.

"That day we saw what the combination of dry, hot conditions and a discarded cigarette can do," Commissioner Mullins said.

"So care needs to be taken in caravans parks and camping areas, where vehicles and tents are close together and fire can spread between them," he said.

Caravan and Camping safety tips:

  • Have a fire extinguisher and a fire blanket and know how to use them.
  • Know the name of the park or the street name or location of your caravan in case you need to ring triple 000 or
  • Download the free “Emergency +” app to your smart phone, this free app is available from your app store and will instantly tell you your street location and GPS coordinates.
  • Know where the nearest hose reel or evacuation point is in the park?
  • Make sure all your family and friends know what to do and where to meet in an emergency.