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Old 03-08-2014, 10:05 PM   #1
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Full Timing Fire Safety - Do You Know What To Do?

Not really sure where the best place to post this so figured here was as good of place as any.

I'm sure this subject has been approached before, but thought I'd share what we do. Fire Safety: We've all seen what fires can do to a camper and how quickly they can be reduced to nothing. So, what do you do as a preventative measure? There's only so much you can do. Check tightness of electrical connections, keep things clean (furnace, water heater, fridge), check gas lines for leaks, check for recalls and the list goes on. So, there's only one thing left really. Train for the worst. Coming from offshore, this is just built in to my brain since we're our own fire department, and things do happen. I've been through 3 fires offshore and things can be under control very quickly if the training is drilled into your head. I have passed on a lot of this to my wife and kids. As long as we were in a house, we went through what to do, escape routes, extinguisher training, muster points etc.

Now, we're living in a fifth wheel, so why stop now. If anything, there should be the same or more training. We've been going through this as a family for months now. We establish muster points at each campsite, have drills for practice and to see reaction times, and act out different scenarios. From the factory, there is only 1 smoke detector in the 35QB4, and it's near the master bedroom. I installed an additional smoke detector on the kitchen side of the kids bedroom. No, cooking on the stove doesn't set it off unless you burn something. There is no real major fire starter in their room, however just through the door you have the fridge and furnace. This smoke detector is one of those you can record what you want it to say, which is cool. Ours calls the kids names, tells them to wake up, that there is a fire, and to go out the half bath door. Since my son is only 2, we've trained my daughter to grab him first and drag him out, against his will if necessary. During drills we black the camper out, or make them go through this blindfolded to make them learn to feel their way out of the camper. It actually turns into a fun family even for them. Practice makes perfect, and they're getting good at it. You train to react, and react how you train.

Hopefully, we never have to experience the real deal. If so, at least everybody knows what to do.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:15 PM   #2
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What is your procedure for getting out the upper B/R emergency window? In a 5th Wheel its a Long way Down! Youroo!!
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:23 PM   #3
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That it is. You can only hope the door is an option, but if not, it is manageable going out of the window. May get a little scraped up, but better than the alternative. There is a chest of drawers right under the window, which makes it a shade easier to slide out on your belly, and hang / drop from the window, thus reducing the free fall distance. Some would say leave a ladder by the window, but we've not gone that far. Our main concern was with the kids getting out.

Thanks for posting that reply as it is a good reminder.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:42 PM   #4
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Good for you for practicing what to do. Most people probably don't even know how to open their emergency exit windows.
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Old 03-08-2014, 10:42 PM   #5
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Get hurt falling or burn. Hmmm,......... tough choice. I chose the fall, injuries be what they may.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscampsin View Post
Good for you for practicing what to do. Most people probably don't even know how to open their emergency exit windows.

Our PDI guy went through the emergency exit window drill with us.

To the OP, 3 months in to owning our former V-Lite, we got the early morning fire drill, FOR REAL. First time using the furnace for any length of time...plus annealing....RV full of smoke and the alarm screaming. We went from sound asleep to full panic mode. Thankfully I remember to get out dog outside.

IF you have pets, hang the collar/halter and leash on a hook near the exit door. We learned that one during the live drill. I've also ordered the window decals: In Case of Fire, Please Save Our Dog!

The "child inside" decal would be a good idea for bunkroom windows as well.
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Old 03-08-2014, 11:26 PM   #7
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Thank you for the replies. Weezer, I can only imagine. After the first RV, when we'd get a new one home, we started running the furnace for hours with the doors and windows open, just to burn the new off due to that reason. Fortunately on the first camper, we weren't in a dead sleep when it smoked up.

like the idea of the decals for the bunk windows. I haven't ever seen any, but I'm sure I could have some made if I can't find any. Reminds me of the 4" red dot we had on our windows growing up. Not sure if they still do that, but the red dot meant child's room to a firefighter then.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:27 PM   #8
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Excellent post Big John. One thing I don't like about my Crusader as compared to the TT I had, 1 door for entrance and exit. Sure, it does have the emergency exit window in the BR over the 5th wheel but it's tight ............For that, I'll go through it no problem. I do keep an pick head axe under the bed just in case that window gets to tight if you know what I mean. People also need to understand that the materials used in the average RV are highly flammable/toxic and fire spread will be hot and fast. Remember the old paneling? Like gasoline on the walls.

Quote:
What is your procedure for getting out the upper B/R emergency window? In a 5th Wheel its a Long way Down!Youroo!!
There's no such a thing as fear of heights when flames are licking at your rear end. Trust me, that's the least of your worries if you need to bail out. I've seen it and it doesn't matter what floor you're on. If it IS to that point you also won't be able to see, eyes watering from the smoke, snotty nose, low visibility, let alone the heat that will burn through those hollow doors in no time, while panic sneaks in screwing your thinking up on top of the lack of oxygen to the brain and toxins killing you slowly..........fire is no joke.

Fire safety isn't anything to take lightly and I can't help but respect how serious BigJohnD takes it yet makes it fun for the family.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:35 PM   #9
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I installed fire extinguishers at the foot of the bed on both sides in addition to the one by the door(factory) and on the road, there is one just inside the tailgate. I hope we never have to use them in the trailer, but over the years, I've used the one in my trucks a couple of times to put out fires on other peoples vehicles. Never got a "Thanks, kiss my ---" or anything either time, but will continue to help if needed. Would think they would at least pay for re-charging the extinguisher.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJohnD View Post
That it is. You can only hope the door is an option, but if not, it is manageable going out of the window. May get a little scraped up, but better than the alternative. There is a chest of drawers right under the window, which makes it a shade easier to slide out on your belly, and hang / drop from the window, thus reducing the free fall distance. Some would say leave a ladder by the window, but we've not gone that far. Our main concern was with the kids getting out.

Thanks for posting that reply as it is a good reminder.

I plan to push the DW out the window first, that way I have something to land on.
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