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Summer safety - keeping safe during the summer months

Camping, glamping and caravanning safety


Staying in a tent

  • A fire can destroy a tent in 60 seconds. Make sure you:
  • never use candles in or near a tent; torches are safer
  • keep cooking stoves and barbecues away from tent walls as they could easily set alight
  • know how to escape by cutting your way out of the tent if there is a fire
  • don’t smoke inside your tent
  • never use BBQs inside or near the entrance of your tent - the carbon monoxide they produce can kill
  • please follow the link for more camping safety advice

Carbon monoxide warning

  • Never bring a portable or disposable BBQ in a tent or awning to keep warm as this is a recipe for disaster. Hours after use they are still giving off poisonous carbon monoxide gases. BBQs are designed for cooking not for heating up spaces
  • Don't be tempted to cook inside your tent or awning, unless there's an area specifically designed for this purpose and you're sure there is adequate ventilation. To work safely BBQs need more ventilation than your tent or awning can provide and there's also the risk of fire.
  • Modern tents are designed as an integral structure with built-in groundsheets and this means that carbon monoxide gases can rise to fatal levels in a matter of minutes if a BBQ were to be used inside for heating purposes
  • Don't rely on a carbon monoxide detector to keep you safe in a tent or awning. They may be useful at home, in a caravan or in a motorhome, but they are not designed for the conditions found in a tent or awning
  • Please follow the link for more carbon monoxide advice.

Staying in a caravan

  • Fit and regularly test a smoke alarm in your caravan, optical alarms are usually most effective. We would also recommend that you install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Take special care when cooking, don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Turn off all appliances before you go to bed.
  • Never dry clothes over the stove.
  • Remove any litter and rubbish near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading.
  • Make sure the caravan is well ventilated to avoid a build-up of poisonous gases; never block air vents.
  • Consider keeping a fire extinguisher by the entrance to your caravan, but always read the  instructions before using it.
  • Please follow the link for more fire safety in caravans and mobile homes.

Using gas cylinders

  • Keep flammable liquids, such as petrol and gas cylinders, outside and away from children.
  • Regularly service and maintain all gas appliances to ensure they are working efficiently and reduce the risk of CO poisoning.
  • Only change gas cylinders when they are completely empty and store them away from caravans and vehicles.
  • Only change cylinders in the open air.
  • Make sure the gas pipe connection is secure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the main cylinder valve.

Disposable BBQs

  • study the user instructions carefully and follow them closely
  • only use in very well ventilated areas
  • the foil base gets very hot, so never place on anything flammable
  • leave to cool before moving – this may take several hours - consider pouring water over it to make sure it's out
  • do not place in a rubbish bin until it has cooled down

To request free Home Safety advice call free on: 0800 05 02 999. For any other fire safety advice, contact the Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue helpline on: 01392 872288.

Download our Home Safety booklet by clicking on the image:


All our safety information can be made available in other languages. Please contact 0800 050 2999 to request a copy.

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