Oregon State Fire Marshal Reminds RV Operators About Fire Safety

Oregon’s summer travel season is well under way and State Fire Marshal Jim Walker is reminding all recreational vehicle (RV) operators to remember fire safety when operating their vehicle.

“Getting away in an RV is a popular pastime of Oregonians and visitors, said State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. “However, RV users have a number of things to pay attention to in order to stay fire safe.”

The OSFM encourages RV operators to follow these fire safety guidelines:

Cooking Appliances:
* Make sure to have proper ventilation before operating the appliance.
* Open the overhead vent or turn on an exhaust fan.
* Watch what you heat. A leading cause of kitchen fires is unattended cooking.
* Keep anything that can catch fire away from burners.
* Never use cooking appliances for heating.
If You Smell Gas:
* Check your stove knobs to make sure they are off.
* Put out all open flames (pilot lights, lamps, smoking materials, etc).
* Shut off the gas supply.
* Don’t operate electrical switches. Turning a switch on or off can create a spark and may cause an explosion.
* Open doors, windows, and vents.
* Leave the RV until the odor is gone.
* Have the gas system checked and repaired by a qualified professional.

Electric Heaters:
* All heaters need space. Keep things that can burn such as paper, furniture, bedding, or curtains, at least three feet from heating equipment.
* Use portable space heaters with an automatic shut-off , so if they are tipped over , they will shut off.
* Plug space heaters directly into an electrical outlet. Do not use extension cords or power strips.

Generator Safety:
* Check all exhaust system connections regularly for leaks and tighten as necessary.
* Make sure the generator tail pipe extends past the edge of the RV.
* Always operate the generator in an area where the wind will carry the exhaust fumes away from the RV.
* Allow the generator to cool down before refueling.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms:
* Install a CO alarm inside your RV.
* If the alarm chirps, replace the batteries of the entire alarm, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
* Replace CO alarms based on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Smoke Alarms:
* Install a smoke alarm inside your RV.
* If the alarm chirps, replace the batteries of the entire alarm, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.
* Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.

For more RV Fire Safety information, download our brochure at http://www.oregon.gov/osp/SFM/Pages/rvsafety.aspx.