Keeping safe from fire while on holiday

July 2011 Fire & Safety, Residential Estate (Industry)

“Most of us just never think about it but a fire in a caravan or recreational vehicle (RV) is typically fatal”. This is the grim view of Stefan Oberholtzer, managing director of Chubb Fire and Security. Chubb Fire and Security is a business unit of UTC Fire & Security, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

Oberholtzer, in conjunction with Bridget Aves, regional managing director for Chubb Fire and Security, KwaZulu-Natal, look at what can go wrong and provide life-saving advice so you can sleep easy and make sure your next holiday is a safe one.

Cooking with gas

The most common cause of fires in campsites is cooking equipment. It is very important that hoses and connections are kept clean on things like portable barbeques. Hoses wear out eventually or start to warp and joints get leaky. When gas escapes and finds a naked flame, things get dangerous.

If you get a flame from fittings or the hose, turn off the gas immediately and put out any flames using a powder type extinguisher. If the flame is coming from the cylinder itself, put the flames out with a powder type extinguisher and then turn off the gas. The cylinder will be hot – use a cloth or rag to turn off the gas knob. If you do not have an extinguisher, cool the cylinder with a garden hose. ALWAYS make sure that the fire brigade is called. DO NOT toss the flaming cylinder away. Fire causes panic but it is important to keep calm.

Caravan and RV fires

A brick home can be gutted by fire within 10 minutes, but a caravan can be destroyed even faster and this does not leave much time for escape, especially if you are asleep at the time. Temperatures in a fire can reach a massive 600°C or more in a matter of minutes. You need a smoke alarm, a fire blanket and a powder-based fire extinguisher, but above all, you need an escape plan. Always involve your children in your fire plan and make sure they are confident and know what to do if there is a fire.

Car fires

A common mistake when people see smoke coming from the engine is to open the bonnet. This feeds the fire with oxygen and can be disastrous. Leave the bonnet closed. Here you will need a powder-based fire extinguisher. Point the extinguisher through the radiator grid above the number plate. If your car does not have one, then shoot the flames from under the front of the car, below the number plate. If you are towing a caravan, uncouple the caravan for extra safety. If it is a very serious fire in an advanced state, stay well clear of the car and call the fire brigade.

Be prepared

A basic fire kit has the following:

* A smoke alarm.

* A fire extinguisher.

* A 1kg powder extinguisher.

* A fire blanket used to contain a fire.

* A first aid kit.

Both Oberholtzer and Aves recommend equipping yourself with dependable gear and discussing safety with companions to make sure you have a plan to deal with emergencies.

“Chances are you may never need these essential items. But if you do find yourself in trouble with fire or an injury, it will be too late to say, ‘I wish I had been prepared’,” said Oberholtzer.

For more information contact Chubb Fire & Security South Africa, +27 (0)11 761 7000.





Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Residential Estate Security Conference 2019
October 2019, Technews Publishing , Editor's Choice, Residential Estate (Industry), Conferences & Events
Hi-Tech Security Solutions hosted the Residential Estate Security Conference in August, focusing on the people, technology and processes involved in an effective security solution for estates.

Read more...
Fire Beam Xtra covers up to 160 metres
October 2019, Technoswitch , Products, Fire & Safety
The Fire Beam overcomes traditional beam detection challenges where building movement and accessibility made beam detection unreliable and laborious to commission and maintain.

Read more...
Emergency voice communication system
October 2019, Technoswitch , Products, Fire & Safety
The Technoswitch Emergency Voice Communication Systems concept offers fire telephone and disabled refuge systems, as well as integrating emergency assist alarm systems in a single solution.

Read more...
Fast detection of smoke and flames
October 2019, Bosch Building Technologies , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Fire & Safety
Video-based fire detection AVIOTEC from Bosch has been optimised for tunnels to provide early and reliable detection of smoke and flames in these dark environments.

Read more...
Frictionless access with a wave
October 2019, IDEMIA , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
IDEMIA was the Platinum Sponsor for the Residential Estate Security Conference 2019 and set up its MorphoWave Compact frictionless fingerprint biometric scanner at the entrance to the conference.

Read more...
Streamlined access and reporting
October 2019, Comb Communications , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
The main focus of the Comb stand was its practical demonstration of the MK II Lite intercom system with third-party integrated products.

Read more...
A committed service provider
October 2019, Elf Rentals - Electronic Security Solutions , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)
The theme Elf promoted through its sponsorship was that it offers clients its own financial commitment and willingness to accept the risk of equipment failure.

Read more...
Thermal cameras with artificial intelligence
October 2019, Dahua Technology South Africa , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Dahua Technology showcased solutions that are important to residential estates, namely perimeter protection.

Read more...
Customised and integrated solutions
October 2019, Suprema , Access Control & Identity Management, Residential Estate (Industry)
iVisit offers both high-end and low-end residential complexes a cost-effective visitor management solution that is fully integrated into Suprema's offerings.

Read more...
Securing estate perimeters
October 2019, Nemtek Electric Fencing Products , Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection, Residential Estate (Industry)
Nemtek has a range of products designed to secure the perimeters of estates, however its display at the conference focused on its Network Energizer and its Dual-Action Tension Sensor.

Read more...