One of the worst things about RVing is the dreaded fire. This can ruin anyone’s day.
When a fire occurs in an RV you must decide to “Fight or Flight”, there is no room for indecision. An RV fire will double in size every twenty seconds. When considering the size of an RV you will not have very much time to decide what to do.
Therefore, you must have a plan of action before a fire occurs. What would you do at 3:10am if the smoke alarm starts going off. It will wake you from a deep sleep and the decision must be acted on quickly. Do you have a plan? Where are the exit doors or the emergency window exits? Have you attempted to open the emergency windows? Do they work? Do they slide open or do they hinge at the top? Do you have to pull the tabs on the windows to rip out the wire holding the window in place? All these questions need to be thought through before a fire occurs.
The “Go Bag”
If you do not have a “Go Bag” consider making one in case of an emergency. At a minimum the bag should have money, copies of important papers, medicine for a few days, emergency telephone numbers, a credit card, extra keys to the vehicle(s), and anything else you may need.
Fighting the Fire
If you decide to fight the fire, do you have the correct fire extinguisher?
The typical RV fire extinguisher is a dry powder extinguisher. When used it provides a big white cloud that should extinguish the fire. The problem with this type of extinguisher is that it requires maintenance. Because the RV is rocking, rolling and shaking as it goes down the road, the powder will pack down in the container.
Once a month it should be turned upside down and beat on the bottom of the extinguisher to loosen up the powder. Otherwise it will not work. In addition to it not working properly, the powder is corrosive to electrical systems, hard to clean up and can be toxic to humans and fur babies.
The correct fire extinguisher
It is strongly suggested that you replace your dry fire extinguisher with a foam fire extinguisher.
This type of extinguisher is the best for RVers.
It does not require maintenance. The foam will act as a cooling agent to extinguish the fire.
Depending upon the type of RV you may need a maximum of 5 fire extinguishers. The locations are 1) bedroom, 2) kitchen, 3) front door, 4) outside bay and 5) in the towed or towing vehicle.
Be safe and get started on the right foot with Escapees RVer Education.
The emergency exits
If you must escape an RV fire you need to have an idea of where the emergency exits are for your RV.
On a big Class A RV, the emergency exit window is high off the ground. If staying at an RV Park, consider pulling the picnic table over to the window. This will shorten the drop out of the RV.
You need to decide who will exit first. Does weak go out first and then assist strong or does strong go out first to help weak? The exit window will have sharp edges as you exit so use a bed spread to go over the edge of the window. Also, the exit window may have the hinge on the top, so you might use a dowel rod to help hold up the window to escape.
The window seal maybe melted to the window, so this is why it is necessary to exercise the window and use Aerospace 303 to condition the rubber seal so that the window will open when needed.
It is hoped that in all your RV travels you never have a fire incident. But to be on the side of caution have a plan on what to do in case there is an emergency.
This information is for educational purposes. VIARV shall not be responsible nor retain liability for RVer’s use of the provided information. Prior to making any RV service decision, you are advised to consult with an RV professional.