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Old 10-13-2014, 10:21 AM   #1
JandC
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Fire Safety Plan

I guess for many of us this is the season that the furnace may get turned on or some type of space heater may get pulled out of storage and utilized. I know there is only so much you can do because most RV's burn like rolled up newspaper soaked in gasoline.

The only preparation or prevention I have done is obtain 2 extra fire extinguishers, only use ceramic style heaters, and replace batteries in all the OEM detectors.

I have 3 escape windows in my current model Montana. But to be honest, if I wake up to smoke and/or flames I am going out that door! By the time I helped the DW out that window and she dropped to the concrete and broke something, then another minute or so for me to snake out of that same window and land my 240 pounds on top of her....I just don't see us having that much time, especially if when you wake up you can't see or breath because of thick black toxic smoke.

What other preventive steps have others taken, or even thought about? Any retired, or working fire fighters care to chime in?

I keep thinking I will mount a good quality smoke alarm in my basement but am wondering if just regular campfires would set it off.
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Old 10-13-2014, 11:51 AM   #2
jcurtis934
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I agree that use of the escape windows would probably take too long, the trailer is going to burn faster than a "bad witch in a bonfire", and first thought should be to get out as fast as possible. If you think the door may not be free of flames...then wet sheets over the body may be your only resort when the window isn't in your plan. I hope never to have the issue, but things happen that are out of our control. John
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:09 PM   #3
mlh
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I have looked at my escape window in the bedroom and wondered , could I get out of that? I'm 6 foot and 170 pounds. If you have dense black smoke in the bedroom you probably are not going to wake up. Your only hope is a good smoke alarm.
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:57 PM   #4
richfaa
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The probabilities are very high that is a fire breaks out in the Montana and the door is blocked you are gonna die. The escape window is a joke and only there because a escape hatch is required by code. We have seen a couple of these things go up and it is very, very, very quick. Well placed smoke alarms are the best shot at survival. Smoke and toxic fumes kill quicker than fire. IMO there is slim chance of survival in the event of a major fire.
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:56 PM   #5
Mark N.
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If it is anything but a very small, very contained fire, perhaps a pan of grease at the largest, just FORGET trying to fight it with anything! Get out, get away from it and wait for the fire dept. to come and put out the embers.
Have functioning *dual-chamber* smoke detectors in BOTH sides of your RV.
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Old 10-13-2014, 02:09 PM   #6
Tfthorp
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As a firefighter I had the oppurtunity to respond to a TT fire this summer. It was a bunk house so it had two exit doors. The unit was a seasonal site, so it had a wood deck outside with a ref. and all sorts of lights and extension cords powering the ref and different lights. Appeared to have started from an overload on the cord. The fire started right outside the forward door blocking any egress from that door. For most of use that would have meant an emergency exit. As others have said and I agree its not an easy out, but might be your only on, so it might be a good idea to know how it works and what to do when you hit the ground or what you have to do if you are the second person out and have to either land on or go over the person who went before you. For the people involved in the fire I was at they had a second door which they went out. I am not sure if they had working smoke alarms, there were none sounding when I arrived, but by then the they may have cleared.
I have been in the law enforcement,fire fighting and EMS work for 40 years and cannot stress how important it is to prepare, train and keep all safety equipment in working order especially smoke alarms. Don't try and put out a fire get your and your families out the unit can be replaced.

This might have been long but it is a passion of mine. Train as if your life depends on it. It just might some day!!!!!!!
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Old 10-13-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
sola123
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JandC...I have 4 smoke detectors with one in the basement near the furnance...and it has never alarmed..so I don't think any outside smoke will set it off....having it there makes it directly under the bedroom...have tested and can easily hear in the bedroom should it go off....have extinguisher by the bed...and I plan to fight our way to the door if at all possible......better than no plan at all...remember to keep low and crawl if necessary...
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
JandC
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by sola123

JandC...I have 4 smoke detectors with one in the basement near the furnance...and it has never alarmed..so I don't think any outside smoke will set it off....having it there makes it directly under the bedroom...have tested and can easily hear in the bedroom should it go off....have extinguisher by the bed...and I plan to fight our way to the door if at all possible......better than no plan at all...remember to keep low and crawl if necessary...
I think while I am thinking about this subject I will go out tomorrow and buy a high quality smoke detector and mount it in my basement.

Tfthorp, you make some good points. I guess no matter if we are weekend seasonal campers or full time folks we should really give this fire safety issue some thought.

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Old 10-13-2014, 07:56 PM   #9
Jimmer
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What a great topic. Some really good points. I am going to add a fire extinguisher to the bedroom. And make sure we have a plan. Thanks for all the good tips.
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Old 10-14-2014, 02:41 AM   #10
WaltBennett
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Smoke detectors and a big fire extinguisher in the bedroom to use to spray our way out the door. Agree that there's no way we'd go out the bedroom emergency exit in time without killing ourselves from the fall. Also put another extinguisher at the rear of the coach as I don't believe one at the door would help anyone located anywhere but there or in the kitchen.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:49 AM   #11
TAKPAK
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[quote]Originally posted by JandC
I know there is only so much you can do because most RV's burn like rolled up newspaper soaked in gasoline.

I'd say an RV burns like the proverbial dried out Christmas tree still standing in July. I've put a fire extinguisher in the basement, in case something starts in the storage area. I believe I will now put one in the bedroom as well. The idea of a smoke detector in the basement is good. On our 3725, ALL the electrical, hot water heater, and furnace are basically right under the bedroom/bathroom area, so guess I'd better take a good look at the escape window. Definitely going to hurt ourselves going out that escape, but better than burning up. The best thing to do is to check all the electrical connections to make sure they are tight, and keep the furnace and hot water heater operating properly.
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Old 10-14-2014, 07:34 AM   #12
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Put a big extinguisher in your truck, over half of all RV fires happen on the road, bearing, brake, tire failure, etc. If all your fire gear is in the trailer your screwed. If necessary release the trailer and drive away from it. Don't worry about extending the front legs, just get unhooked and drive.
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Old 10-14-2014, 05:55 PM   #13
h2ojocky
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As a 30 year veteran firefighter, I would recomend ensuring working smoke detectors and having at least 2 extinguishers in the trailer. One in the bedroom and one near the kitchen. I also agree with keeping an extinguisher in the tow vehicle. Smoke detectors can sound before smoke is even visible. I would keep in mind that the escape window in bedroom is a LAST resort, as it takes time for 2 people to get out. All this is IMHO.
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Old 10-15-2014, 03:20 AM   #14
JandC
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by h2ojocky

As a 30 year veteran firefighter, I would recomend ensuring working smoke detectors and having at least 2 extinguishers in the trailer. One in the bedroom and one near the kitchen. I also agree with keeping an extinguisher in the tow vehicle. Smoke detectors can sound before smoke is even visible. I would keep in mind that the escape window in bedroom is a LAST resort, as it takes time for 2 people to get out. All this is IMHO.
Again, extremely good advise from someone who is an RVer and knows fire.
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