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Do You Have a Fire Extinguisher in your Caravan


Mr Plodd
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Why do manufacturers of caravans/ motorhomes fit fire extinguishers INSIDE cupboards?

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Posted (edited)

2Kg fire extinguisher + fire blanket in ours. 

Always worth it as a backup. Even for the completely unexpected. 

 

Years ago, when I was a kid, we went caravanning up to Scotland. 5 hour commute in the winter and arrived in darkness, parents started to pitch up and the car electrics faulted near the dashboard and caught fire. At least 4 or 5 people came out of their vans immediately with extinguishers to help. 

 

No one injured, but a long journey back home. Car was eventually successfully repaired thanks to the quick minds who helped. Probably a complete burn out otherwise. 

 

Edited by bnar21
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Fire blanket in case of a pan fire (but wouldn't dream of deep frying in a caravan) but no extinguisher, of course a smoke and CO alarm, my main priority is to get out, and we have two large windows in the bedroom if the door is blocked.

 

Nothing in the van is worth risking injury for.

 

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Hi All, Some interesting comments, especially those attributed to 'fire officers'.

Lets assume that you are going to let people use your LV in exchange for payment-then you are caught by the legislation and there is various guidance that applies-very little "black & white" or "set in stone" rules.

 

Indeed, even the guidance is not clear as there is both statutory and non statutory-Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service make it clear, on their website, that they have adopted a guidance booklet entitled "Do You Have Paying Guests"

That booklet says this about FFE;

Should I provide fire fighting equipment?
One extinguisher on each floor near the stairs and a fire blanket in the kitchen should be enough in most small premises. You will need to make sure that the instructions on how to use them are clear and that there is a warning to people not to tackle anything other than a very small fire.

Evacuating the premises is the safest thing to do.
You can buy suitable multi-purpose extinguishers, guaranteed for five years, from a range of larger DIY outlets. You should check the gauge regularly to make sure the ‘stored pressure’ has not leaked.

 

So if we accept that most LVs will not have stairs thats one extinguisher and a blanket-no mention of extinguisher ratings or service etc-and a clear statement that evacuation is the 'safest' thing to do.

 

I visit many premises to which the fire safety legislation applies and make it clear to the premises falling into the above category what the guidance says.

How they act on this ranges from full FFE provision, determined by a competent person and maintained in accordance with the British Standard, through a couple of small off the shelf extinguishers to no FFE at all. 

 

Me, I have a 2kg DP-in the car.
 

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Posted (edited)

Having seen a number of car fires I don’t bother to carry an extinguisher in mine, Even the fire service, with all their kit and hundreds of gallons of water available at high pressure, cannot put out a car fire out once it’s been going for a very short space of time. Once a caravan “catches” you have no chance. But if you feel happier carrying an extinguisher then I am certainly not going to say you shouldn’t, I just choose not to. 

Edited by Mr Plodd

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Having read through all the comments, there are vivid descriptions of  how quickly a fire can take hold in a van or MH, how severe they can be, you shouldn't attempt to fight the fire, it being pointless to have an extinguisher and so on.

 

However, one thing never mentioned is that most fires, even large ones, start as small fires, which could, if an extinguisher was available, be put out in complete safety, with some even a cup of water would do.

 

Common sense says that obviously no one should ever think of fighting a fire that has really taken hold and should get out, but common sense is in short supply many times, seen by reports of people going back into a building on fire or not getting out immediately, because they need their phone, bag, laptop, whatever.

 

Myself, I'll stick with having extinguishers in the hope I will never have to use them, but safe in the knowledge that should there be a small fire that would develop into a home destroying fire, I would at least have a chance of of putting it out, without which I would have to stand back and let the small fire do its work.

 

I have used extinguishers a few times back in the day on vehicles and on one of my own an old Vauxhall Viva, one evening sat at traffic lights I heard a pop and saw an orange glow at the bonnet to wing gap and knew it was a fire, ignition off, bonnet release pulled, out of the car with the extinguisher, opened the bonnet as far as the safety catch ( never ever open the bonnet fully ) and filled the engine bay with powder through the gap which put it out with very little damage.

 

The cause of the fire, the petrol pump sat under the ignition coil and the outlet pipe developed a split and sprayed petrol over the coil :o

 

So yes, having one and knowing the correct way to use one can and did save the day.............and car.

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  We have 2, both mounted out of sight in the cupboard under the sink. I used to work for the gas board and was sent on a firefighting course about every 3 years. At first we used real fires to practice on but later, when health and safety came in, we used a painted cardboard box and dummy extinguishers and had to shout WHOOSH when the handle was pressed. :D

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Back in 1989 I had a very nice, low mileage mk1 Ford Escort (and hair).  Travelling up the M6 I had stopped at Sandbach services and on starting the car to carry on the journey, it started but the throttle just had no response.  I then noticed smoke coming out from under the bonnet, the guy next to me told me to pull the bonnet release BUT leave the bonnet "on the catch" he promptly pulled an extinguisher from the boot of his car, pointed it into the bonnet gap and put the fire out.  If he hadn't the car would have burnt out and it is that incident (and fire training as an apprentice) that made me value having an extinguisher to hand just-in-case.  The problem with the car was that the engine earth strap had come loose and on trying to start the car the engine had earthed via the accelerator cable and acted like a piece of fuse wire, burning out and setting fire to the air filter.

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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8 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

Back in 1989 I had a very nice, low mileage mk1 Ford Escort (and hair).  Travelling up the M6 I had stopped at Sandbach services and on starting the car to carry on the journey, it started but the throttle just had no response.  I then noticed smoke coming out from under the bonnet, the guy next to me told me to pull the bonnet release BUT leave the bonnet "on the catch" he promptly pulled an extinguisher from the boot of his car, pointed it into the bonnet gap and put the fire out.  If he hadn't the car would have burnt out and it is that incident (and fire training as an apprentice) that made me value having an extinguisher to hand just-in-case.  The problem with the car was that the engine earth strap had come loose and on trying to start the car the engine had earthed via the accelerator cable and acted like a piece of fuse wire, burning out and setting fire to the air filter.

Was it this incident that caused the hair loss or did you have kids later?

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51 minutes ago, Scarab said:

Was it this incident that caused the hair loss or did you have kids later?

 

Hahaha!  Kids & work are the usual reason for switching from Head & Shoulders to Mr Sheen

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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Extinguisher and blanket for me.

3 yearly fire training as part of the Survival Course, as well as  Fire Team Member training as part of my offshore work duties but I wouldn't call myself a firefighter by any stretch of the imagination. And, at least until I retired, we still practiced on real fires. My first Survival involved escape from a smoke filled "house". A 40 foot container partitioned. Real fire. Real smoke. No BA. No smoke hood. Coughing up black stuff for days. Now smoke House training is cosmetic smoke and full BA. Pah!!!

 

I've used a small extinguisher in anger many years ago when dippy lady next door ran round to call out the Brigade as her washing pile had fallen on top of her electric cooker. Review, Risk Assess. Go in with a Halon extinguisher - you could have them in those days - empty it. Leave. By the time the Brigade came, the fire was long out, although I obviously didn't re-enter the house. She bought me a new extinguisher - that I still have somewhere....

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I have small extinguishers in my caravan and my classic car. They are probably out of date now. It would have to be a small fire for me to attempt to tackle it. As has already been said, if its caught hold then leg it. Claim on the insurance. I cant believe anyone would deep fry in a caravan or in the home these days. 

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5 minutes ago, PaulHo said:

I cant believe anyone would deep fry in a caravan or in the home these days. 

 

It's only a matter of time before Cadac bring out a deep-fat fryer for their range, they've got a cooking plate to suit everything else!!!!!

2018 Volvo V90 and 2018 Swift Sprite Quattro EB

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9 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

Having seen a number of car fires I don’t bother to carry an extinguisher in mine, Even the fire service, with all their kit and hundreds of gallons of water available at high pressure, cannot put out a car fire out once it’s been going for a very short space of time. Once a caravan “catches” you have no chance. But if you feel happier carrying an extinguisher then I am certainly not going to say you shouldn’t, I just choose not to. 

Hi Andy, I keep a DP in the car so that I am able to assist, as I have been able to, should I come across a fire incident during my 20k miles of driving.

The main reason that the fire service will struggle is that by the time they arrive it’s a fully developed fire.

Extinguishers are “first aid” so only really likely to be of use if you have it to hand immediately.

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OKAY truly surprised here,

Either I am doing it wrong or everyone else needs to rethink their options.

 

I have a fire blanket. it can be used to cover a saucepan and allow me and the wife to leave the van.

I have a fire extinguisher, i can put out my caravan fire.

 

Has no one ever said yet.

I have a fire blanket, in an emergency i can use it to smoother the burning clothes of a person escaping a fire?

I have a fire blanket i can  use it to beat the burning grass set off by a disposable BBQ put on dry grass?

I have a fire blanket, it has a lot of other uses?

 

How about;

I have a fire extinguisher, I use it to help another family get out of their burning caravan.

I have a CO2 fire extinguisher i use it to defend against a swarm of wasps/bees ( its brilliant to do this)

I have a fire extinguisher its good to use on camp fire that are starting to get out of control or overly large.

I have a fire extinguisher i can use it to defend myself or my children or your children against an idiot that's just let his big angry dog off the lead. (Out of control rockwieler owned by a very drunk Liverpool resident. The dog was shot in the end by someone).

They also make great self defence against many other animals. Except bears, i strongly advice not to walk in the n woods armed with a 2kg dry powdered extinguisher, i would also strongly advice against rhino, hippo and lions, crocodiles and may be that wild camping weekend at West Midlands Safari Park was a bad idea after all.

 

Out of date ones are great fun to use up as well.

I don't pay for them as we get loads for free from work. I give them away to people as well. But a small one is better than nothing.

Fire extinguisher wise if your quick and its easy and safe to do so their use will really make a massive difference in saving lives and property. If not they help to protect escaping lives or prevent further damage elsewhere.

 

I am proud i carry one, i am proud to display it by the front door ready to use by me or anyone else.

 

My wife did her training with west mids fire. She had a great day, what is it with females fire men and hoses?

 

I see hundreds of uses and many reasons to consider owning a small 2kg unit. if like me you have a spare weight then a larger one is even better. 

 

Dont forget in Europe sometimes its also a legal requirement to carry the baby  ones.

 

 

I would say after 50 years its roughly  4 out of 10, four fire related uses and 6 other than fire related uses.

 

20210613_184949.jpg

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20 minutes ago, hedgerowpete said:

 

Dont forget in Europe sometimes its also a legal requirement to carry the baby  ones.

 

 

Which countries have that law ?

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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Interesting comments and maybe when my Tom Tom said “Bear right” it was pre warning me to get my extinguisher ready?

 

You mention having a CO2 and a “small 2 kg unit”.

 

The one pictured appears to be a 6L foam which, if it is water based and has not passed the dielectric test, may be unsuitable, as in you may be electrocuted, if used on, or in the vicinity of, live electrical equipment.

The reason I carry a DP is that it is safe to use on all Classes of fires.

 

I am off to review my risk assessments for swarms of bees and Rottweilers but know already that swarms of Rottweilers will be in the hide risk category.

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I remember from way back that a retired fireman on this forum recommended that you should forget about small dry powder extinguishers and always opt for a decent size AFFF type. His view was that the small ones were neither use nor ornament and that dry powder was really, really messy.

I've got nothing to do on this hot afternoon

but to settle down and write you a line.

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5 minutes ago, Steamdrivenandy said:

I remember from way back that a retired fireman on this forum recommended that you should forget about small dry powder extinguishers and always opt for a decent size AFFF type. His view was that the small ones were neither use nor ornament and that dry powder was really, really messy.

Whilst I agree its messy, that goes against everything I've ever been taught on fire safety, in that Blue powder extinguishers are the best general purpose 'all rounders' and if you are trying to put out a small fire - do you honestly care how messy it is? 

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This “discussion” will doubtless rumble on for many more pages as people hold their own (strong) views and are unlikely to be swayed by any opposing ones. 

 

There are valid arguments for both sides of the “do you/don’t” you camps. Personally my view is that it should be left to an individuals personal opinion. Just about every for/against point has been aired (a fair few many times over) So shall we just all agree to differ (like hitch lock on or off when towing) and find something else to exercise our typing digits over??

 

How about the 85% rule ??? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: 

 

Shall I start ? ;)

 

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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We used to have dry powder and a fire blanket in our old Sprite years ago - never had to use either thankfully. The dry powder was never serviced so doubt it would’ve worked anyway! Now we just have a blanket but wouldn’t attempt to use it on anything more than something minor - we’d just get out.

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2 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

This “discussion” will doubtless rumble on for many more pages as people hold their own (strong) views and are unlikely to be swayed by any opposing ones. 

 

There are valid arguments for both sides of the “do you/don’t” you camps. Personally my view is that it should be left to an individuals personal opinion. Just about every for/against point has been aired (a fair few many times over) So shall we just all agree to differ (like hitch lock on or off when towing) and find something else to exercise our typing digits over??

 

How about the 85% rule ??? :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: 

 

Shall I start ? ;)

 

 

 :goodpost:  I totally agree.

I, as already said, carry 2  DP fixed to the inside of the under sink cupboard door. No one will persuade me to part with them until they have been used or have gone out of date, when they will be replaced! I also feel that the reference to use against bears was a humorous reference ( I may be wrong, Mrs 'at says I usually am)

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9 hours ago, Allan Guest said:

Interesting comments and maybe when my Tom Tom said “Bear right” it was pre warning me to get my extinguisher ready?

 

You mention having a CO2 and a “small 2 kg unit”.

 

The one pictured appears to be a 6L foam which, if it is water based and has not passed the dielectric test, may be unsuitable, as in you may be electrocuted, if used on, or in the vicinity of, live electrical equipment.

The reason I carry a DP is that it is safe to use on all Classes of fires.

 

I am off to review my risk assessments for swarms of bees and Rottweilers but know already that swarms of Rottweilers will be in the hide risk category.

I have found that CO2 set off in the face of humans as well as dogs works wonders in stopping them in a reasonably harmless way to me. The cold and co2 will drop the bees and wasps long enough for you to run away.

I have foam outside of the caravan as its the one i picked up first the 2kg co2 is inside the tow van. i have loads so i dont really bother to see whats what.

 

Like i say its enough for me to help you out of harm or danger, i am not bothered about putting the fire out, that's for other people to do.

10 hours ago, Mr Plodd said:

 

Which countries have that law ?

"A car first aid kit and fire extinguisher is required by law in most Nordic, Eastern European, Baltic and Soviet countries. A vehicle first aid kit and fire extinguisher is not legally required when driving in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and other Central European countries however it is still recommended"

 

i personally thought it was still required in Germany and italy.

 

(I have only ever heard of tourists being fined on the spot for it)

 

quote is from SIXT car hire

https://www.sixt.co.uk/magazine/tips/driving-laws-and-regulations-in-europe/

 

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On 06/07/2021 at 14:15, AlwynMike said:

Extinguisher and blanket for me.

3 yearly fire training as part of the Survival Course, as well as  Fire Team Member training as part of my offshore work duties but I wouldn't call myself a firefighter by any stretch of the imagination. And, at least until I retired, we still practiced on real fires. My first Survival involved escape from a smoke filled "house". A 40 foot container partitioned. Real fire. Real smoke. No BA. No smoke hood. Coughing up black stuff for days. Now smoke House training is cosmetic smoke and full BA. Pah!!!

 

I've used a small extinguisher in anger many years ago when dippy lady next door ran round to call out the Brigade as her washing pile had fallen on top of her electric cooker. Review, Risk Assess. Go in with a Halon extinguisher - you could have them in those days - empty it. Leave. By the time the Brigade came, the fire was long out, although I obviously didn't re-enter the house. She bought me a new extinguisher - that I still have somewhere....


 

yes, but Halon, (still in use for specialist purposes), was the absolve hammer of the Gods on a fire, far more effective than anything we can lay hands on now.

(I still have a couple of the 6kg ones - they will put a properly decent fire out).

 

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The above differs somewhat from what The A A have to say on the same subject! No requirement for fire extinguishers in any of the European countries most U.K. residents are likely to visit on holiday,

 

I know who I am more likely to believe between the AA and a car hire company.

 

Experience is something you acquire after you have an urgent need for it.

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