Providing power and heat for your static caravan are essential elements of your day to day comfort. With the majority using both gas and electricity, static caravan safety is a serious business and this is backed up by the fact that many static caravan insurance providers require a gas safety inspection every year.
Modern caravans, from touring right through to static, are built to meet high standards, with domestic quality power appliances. As such, many of the requirements in terms of safety apply to protect you and your static caravan against the potentially lethal effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and fire.
And while static caravan fires are rare – accounting for 2% of claims made on Towergate static caravan insurance policies – they can quickly spread throughout your home from home.
Your static caravan safety – gas
In terms of your gas safety, the same set of guidelines apply for your static caravan as they do for any domestic residence. This means that if you have a new gas appliance which needs installing, a fully qualified ‘Gas Safe Registered’ engineer should really do this for you. The Gas Safe Register website will allow you to search for qualified engineers with the relevant experience you need – whether you are looking for someone with know-how in LPG, bottled or natural gas, or someone with experience of working with boilers or cookers.
It is also worth noting that while for touring caravans and motor homes, a Caravan Industry Training ACoP qualification is sufficient, it does not cover engineers working on caravan holiday homes and park homes.
Your annual gas safety inspections should also be carried out by registered professionals, and as well as being a common requirement for your static caravan insurance to remain valid, your caravan park may also require you to have an annual gas service too.
A gas safety inspection and service will generally include:
• Examining the condition of pipework and checking for leaks
• Ensuring there is adequate ventilation
• Checking the flue with a smoke spillage test
• Testing appliances and safety devices
Your static caravan safety – electricity
With statistics showing that 48 deaths were caused by domestic fires with electrical origin in 2010/2011*, electrical safety in any home should not be ignored and static caravan safety is certainly no exception.
Fixing electrical failures and faults should never be attempted yourself. Should your electrics fail when you arrive at your static caravan after a break away, it is a good idea to contact your holiday park’s maintenance team.
Checking your appliances periodically for wear and tear can be a good way of helping to ensure safety. This can include:
• Checking the cable covering for cuts and abrasions
• Checking that the cable covering is gripped into the plug top, so that no coloured cable cores are visible
• Checking that the plug casing is not cracked and that the pins are not bent
• Checking for signs of burning or overheating, especially the plug and socket
• Checking that there are no loose, damaged or missing parts
And while, as with standard homes, unless you are letting your static caravan to others, testing domestic appliances is not a legal requirement, this relatively inexpensive precaution can help protect you and your family. If you do let your static caravan to others, you are responsible for making sure that each and every electrical installation to your property is safe, using registered electricians for all work, and carrying out regular periodic inspections.
Static caravan fire safety
While prevention is much better than cure, should a small fire take hold in your static caravan, having safety devices close to hand can help to keep the worst at bay.
Fire extinguishers – it is recommended that at least one fire extinguisher should be located within your static caravan at a point of easy access.
Fire blankets – when resulting from fats and cooking oils, minor fires should be covered and extinguished with a fire blanket.
Smoke alarms – often the first alert for fires happening at night, smoke alarms are a must. These should be tested regularly and at least every time you arrive at your static caravan home.
In the event of an accident, while it can’t protect your assets from the fire itself, your static caravan insurance can protect you against its financial implications, allowing you to get back on your feet as soon as possible.
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