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Old 01-04-2005, 12:16 PM   #1
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Fire Prevention/Escape Plan

I've seen one trailer fire in my life. It's not something anyone ever forgets, and though rare they are deadly.

Fire SAFETY doesn't happen by accident. Prevention trumps escape! Maintain your equipment - one of our other members has so elegantly expressed it "Suck it up, spend the bucks and do it right the first time." Vintage or newer, everything needs to be maintained, repaired or replaced eventually, so even if it isn't purely "original", go for safety! Actively look for fire hazards and deal with them (and that includes the 10 year old extinguisher by the door that you've never checked. I just went and re-read the instructions on my office extinguisher and blush, it needs to be replaced)!

If I were buying a larger A/S like the 34' slideout, I'd surely buy an extra extinguisher or two just to keep handy in the rear of the trailer. If you ever use an extinguisher, use it to escape, not to stay and fight the fire.

Planning:

1) A fire drill ESPECIALLY for small children is worth it's weight in gold. Repeat and practice at least once a season. Practice for everyone so everyone knows what to do, who grabs the kid, the dog, etc. greatly increases the odds that everyone gets out... even if they're half asleep.

2) A PLAN will save your life. Getting out doesn't have to be pretty, it needs to be fast. If you think you'll ever have to crawl out of the rear window you don't need to worry about curtains or screens - you will have the strength to rip them out but don't count on breaking the glass - it's tougher than you are. Become very, very familiar with the latches.

(Perhaps Andy or some other dealer can tell us if the windows are designed for kickout. I'm getting a 22' with the bed in front so I'm 2 steps from the door, but I visualize the problem for the bigger rigs.)

3) A fire extinguisher is useless if you don't KNOW how to operate it - If you have an old one, let the kid's put out your charcoal grill with it as soon as you buy the new one.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:44 PM   #2
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All good advice. I felt much safer after I upgraded my trailer to include CO, LP, and Smoke detectors. It had none when I bought it!

Luckily we don't need an escape plan
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:55 PM   #3
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Fire????

Did some one say fire?

Let me tell you about the value of a ten dollar fire extinguisher. Fires are typically not next to a fire department.

Check this thread, this is a true story.

http://www.airforums.com/forum...ndyacht+landed

Smily
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Old 01-04-2005, 01:56 PM   #4
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PaulaFord.

Safety is an issue, that unfortunately, seldom applies to a given individual.

"It usually applies to others, but never me. No way, I have lived on the edge for years, and will continue to do so."

How many times have we heard that statement? All too many times.

I have promoted safety for over 30 years, to Airstream owners. But still, there are those that don't care, or feel that they are immune to a major problem.

All RV's should be equipped with a smoke detector, and a LPG leak detector.
In spite of the fact that both those items are very cheap, most owners have chosen to ignore the basic rules of safety.

As a pilot, I was taught many years ago, that there is no such thing as "being too safe." That applies to everything we do, everyday.

Some owners still don't believe in a sway control, for their hitch. Some don't believe in a load equalizing hitch.

Indirectly, some don't believe in wheel balancing. They have no concept, usually, of what can happen, "IF" you suddenly lost a wheel.

Some believe in cheap tires, not realizing that they and their family lives, even though they are in the tow vehicle, are "on the line."

Some don't care that Airstream spent many thousands of dollars to come up with the best tire, they will still go for the unproven cheap stuff.

Why? Who knows. I gave up years ago trying to understand that kind of logic.

But life will continue on, regardless. It's just very sad, that some owners won't listen to facts.

Airstream windows are "not kick out."

You can however, shatter them with a hammer, or with a impact type center punch.

Most fires are caused by carelessness or ignoring basic preventive measures.
Going through your Airstream to test all of it's systems, should become periodically mandatory, especially both electrical systems and the LPG systems.

Assuming all systems are "go" is not a healthy attitude. But if that is someone's choice, so be it. But the rest of us can sit back, relax and enjoy RVing, to it's ultimate.

Being prepared and safe, should be everyone's motto.

Accidents happen, things happen, that's a part of life. But to disregard sound safety advice, is pointing the gun at themselves.

Sad, but true.

How about all of us, starting off this New Year, double our efforts to be safe? Sounds good to me, and to most of our customers.

Will each of you, join in?

Andy
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:31 PM   #5
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Well, now you guys got me thinking.

I was thinking about what would happen if we did have a fire, lets say by the door - maybe the fridge burst into flames - and we had to exit through the back window. It wouldn't be too hard, because it's a nice big window, crank it open and climb out. But we always set our keys on the counter by the door. So then what? We're outside the trailer but have no keys. There's a spare set in the truck, but it's locked, and we have no truck keys either. At the very least we probably want to start up the truck and move it away from the burning trailer!

I think maybe we'll add a magnetic keybox somewhere with a truck key in it - just in case.
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Old 01-04-2005, 03:39 PM   #6
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Ahh - if there is a fire, don't think I'll try to crank the window open - probably more like dive through it.

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Old 01-04-2005, 03:47 PM   #7
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Stefrobrts

Stephanie.

Remember, just a very few years ago, when we were all in school, and we all had the "Fire Drills?"

As with any program, practice makes perfect, or at least well prepared.

Have family "fire drills," or even just emergency escape plans.

Set a course of action that's dictated by the problem, change the problem, change the course of action, again and again, until you and your family feel comfortable.

Hopefully, that exercise may someday. prove valueable.

Andy
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:14 PM   #8
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Fire Prevention/Escape Plan

Greetings Stephanie!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts
Well, now you guys got me thinking.

I was thinking about what would happen if we did have a fire, lets say by the door - maybe the fridge burst into flames - and we had to exit through the back window. It wouldn't be too hard, because it's a nice big window, crank it open and climb out. But we always set our keys on the counter by the door. So then what? We're outside the trailer but have no keys. There's a spare set in the truck, but it's locked, and we have no truck keys either. At the very least we probably want to start up the truck and move it away from the burning trailer!

I think maybe we'll add a magnetic keybox somewhere with a truck key in it - just in case.
Something that has worked well for me both when traveling and at home is to carry a bank "deposit bag" (the heavy duty vinyl or fabric zippered bags that most banks will provide free of charge to customers with a "business" account - - or for a nominal charge to regular customers). To the deposit bag's zipper tab, I tie a loop of fabric ribbon that allows me to attach the bag to the coat hooks near my bed (in either the Airstream or Argosy) - - or place it on the bedside table in a motel or at home. I place my keys, eye glasses, and wallet in that little zippered bag so that it will be convenient in an emergency - - just grab and run. It has been quite handy in two separate instances where the hotel where I was staying had to be evacuated in the middle of the night to the storm shelter - - in both cases the power had been knocked out so there weren't any room lights - - just the emergency lights in the halls.

Good luck with your emergency preparedness plan!

Kevin
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Old 01-04-2005, 04:52 PM   #9
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One thing most people forget about is the fire extinguisher. You need to turn these units over and shake up the mix in them. Alas if they are left in their holders and never get moved, the compound in them eventually packs down and will not eject when needed.

Jack
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcanavera
One thing most people forget about is the fire extinguisher. You need to turn these units over and shake up the mix in them. Alas if they are left in their holders and never get moved, the compound in them eventually packs down and will not eject when needed.

Jack
There is nothing scarier IMHO, than pulling the trigger on an extinguisher, and nothing happens. Fire extinguishers should be serviced every year, a quick check in the yellow pages should find a local "extinguisher guy" to take care of this. They also need to be replaced periodically, just like our propane tanks that have to be replaced or recertified. A 5-7 pound A B C extinguisher should be sufficient to get you out of the trailer. If you have a larger unit, one in the rear as well as one by the front door would be a very smart idea. Just make sure it is an A B C type, a lot of the less expensive ones are B C only, and don't work very well on burning wood, carpet, mattress cushions, pets etc.
Just a quick reminder, pull the pin, then aim at the base of the fire, and pull the trigger.
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Old 01-04-2005, 10:52 PM   #11
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My biggest concern is a gas appliance fire at night. Heater, water heater, fridge. Is there an automatic shut off valve one can get for the propane supply. I thought I saw one in my surfing but cann't locate it. Seems to be a marine part. The Bat Cave Express will have night lights to show the way to the exit, red in the back and green toward the front. It's my understanding that in smoke people get turned around cann't find their way. Be Safe Not Sorry. Good idea to buy a cheap extinquisher and try to put out a paper fire in a trash can (outside of course) if you never used one just to get the feel of it.
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Old 01-04-2005, 11:10 PM   #12
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Exclamation Fire/Safety

In the past two weeks there have been several house fires in our area where small children were burned. One family had only one child survive out of four. I don't have children, but I can't imagine that any of those parents will ever get over losing their children.

We just have to keep reminding folks that you can get new tires and never miss the old ones. The same will never be said of any loved family member (although I do have an ex-husband.... ).

Can't remember the author of this quote, "a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing." ????

We've all gotten to a point where we shop PRICE only. Milk may be an "equivalency product" which means most of us will pick up whatever brand the store stocks because it's all good. But if we wouldn't buy Airstreams if we thought they were the same as SOB's.

Just keep reminding folks that safety is a lot cheaper than they think - and taking chances could cost more than they can bear to pay.
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Old 01-05-2005, 11:03 AM   #13
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Bashing out the back window

Well, Andy from Inland said that the window frames aren't made for a kick out, but could be broken with a hammer or heavy hit with a center punch. Who keeps those by the bedside?

I'll add three thoughts: If emptying a fire extinguisher doesn't create a path to the door, I'd use it to shatter the back window. Just throw your bedding over the jagged pieces in the sill. If you're thinking, "I carry a gun, I'll blow the window out!" please reconsider. In a campground those rounds are likely to hit the next trailer. I think I might be able to break a window with a heel kick - lying on the bed or standing. I use clogs instead of slippers.

I'm not skinny, but with a 22 footer I think I can hit the door from anywhere in the trailer in a half a second, but I'm still going to carefully inspect my windows and make sure I can open or close them in the dark, and look very carefully at the possibility of opening a window and sliding through. If the "reality check" is that my behind is four inches bigger than the window will open I'm going to look at how sturdy the hinges are - and I'm going to have the rock guard up in the awning position when I'm parked.

Oh well, just one more reason to stick to my diet and exercise resolutions.
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Old 01-05-2005, 01:27 PM   #14
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Children....

Hi Paulaford....
I read with interest what U said abt FIRE SAFETY, & as I are a Safety Rep & Storage Racking Inspector I also are a FIRE MARSHAL, I have undergone an awful amount of training through My place of employment, & I totaly understand the need for UNDERSTANDING abt SAFETY, I too check our warehouse Fire equiptment, BUT I kn for a fact that IF ever our warehouse caught fire, one Guy with a fire ext: aint gonna make the slightest difference, as our contents are ALL in cardboard boxes.
Here IS a site mainly for the Younger Persons, I'll ADMIT, I enjoyed it to...LOL...BUT FIRE is a nasty element & takes NO prisoners...it has No feelings & thrives on destruction....So get Yr Children 2 look at this site...it's Good, Fun, & IT CAN SAVE YR LIFE...

www.dos.state.ny.us/kidsroom/firesafe/about.html

...So whatever yr plan, PRACTICE...Chris.....
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