RV Fire Prevention & Safety

Be Prepared

When thinking about your next camping trip we urge you to keep RV fire safety top of mind. To understand the scope of this hazard you should know the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports an average of 2,000 RV fires annually in the United States. This issue hits close to home for us. Riverbend Campground had two RV fires in 2016/2017. One resulted in the loss of a late model Class A motorhome (see photo).

RV fire in early 2017 is a stark reminder that RV fires safety is important.

We originally wrote a blog post about RV fire safety a couple of years ago. You can read that article here. In this new post we are going to go over some additional pointers. It’s important to both prevent a fire as well as be prepared to dealing with one if it happens.

RV Fires Safety Checklist

We recommend creating a fire safety check list. You list should include things to inspect. Also, make note the frequency that each inspection should happen (every trip, once a week, one a month). Your check list should also have instructions on what to do in the event of a fire and this should be reviewed from time to time.

Know Your Campsite Location

Each time you set up in a campsite make note of exactly where your campsite is located. Here at Riverbend, all roads are named but most people don’t pay attention. Do pay attention. In addition to your lot number, make note of the road name.  This is important not just for fire but for any emergency service.

Checklist items

Preventing RV Fire When Travelling

  • When travelling things like tires and wheel bearings can over heat and cause fire. They should be checked pre-trip and if you are travelling long distances, check when you stop along the way.

Preventing RV Fire When Parked

  • Make sure you have fully charged fire extinguisher in your RV.  RV’s come equipped with fire extinguisher mounted near the entry door. It’s also wise to have one in the sleeping area. Have a regular routine of checking these, Make sure everyone in the family knows where they are, how to operate and what types of fires they can be used for.
  • Does your unit have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?  These should be checked and tested regularly. 
  • Examine all paths of egress. Don’t block access to doors and make certain they are easy to open. Windows are also key avenues for escape in an emergency. Again, don’t block access and make certain they are operating properly.
  • Conduct regular checks of your appliances. You have propane and electrical systems that possible sources of problems. If you have any concern about these systems have a licensed RV technician check them. A note about Propane. Unlike natural gas which is lighter than air and will rise, propane is heavier and falls. This is an issue if a burner on the stove goes out. Your furnace and hot water heater could ignite the escaped gas.
  • Make certain flammable items, like curtains, clothing, and paper towels are away from open flames
  • Make certain you are not trying to run too many appliances at the same time and never leave them un your RV unattended.
Practice fire safety with your campfire

Fire Prevention Around the Campsite

  • Use the firepit provided in each campsite at Riverbend.
  • Pay attention to any fire restrictions or fire bans that might occur during the season.
  • Refer to this page on the Alberta Government website for tips on campfire safety


An ounce of prevention and some wise preparation will ensure a safe and relaxing camping experience. We look forward to your next get away to Riverbend Campground.