'Watch for a fire', caravaners told

CAMPERS have been warned not to be complacent about fire risks.

Scores in NSW were destroyed by fire during holiday periods last year.

Fire and Rescue NSW’s Inspector Daryl Manson, whose area covers Albury, said holidaymakers needed to be vigilant to prevent a repeat of the 2012-13 Christmas-New Year season.

“Certainly in our area there are so many caravan parks,” he said.

“So many people come here from all types of areas to holiday so safety is a concern.”

Insp Manson said the chances of an accident increased when people were not in a familiar environment.

“There’s then that possibility of bumping into stoves,” he said.

A fire that starts in a cabin or caravan could ignite much more quickly due to plastic fittings and insulation, he said.

There were 131 caravan and mobile property fires in NSW last year with 42 occurring in the 2012-13 Christmas-New Year break.

At Albury All Seasons Tourist Park, the manager, Frank Johnson said he encouraged all guests to be vigilant when it came to fire safety.

“All our cabins are fitted with smoke alarms and we don’t allow any open barbecues,” he said.

“The only ones allowed are the ones in caravans, the camp kitchen or barbecue area.

“We also clean dead leaves and branches from gutters periodically.”

Mr Johnson said he was not surprised by the number of caravan fires occurring in NSW during the holiday season.

“At that time people are more relaxed and drop their guard and are wanting to have a good time and some little safety basics go out the window,” he said.

His main concern when it came to caravan fires was where in the cabin the door was placed.

“Ones with doors near the sleeping area are a lot safer,” he said.

“Otherwise they’d have to go past the cooking facilities to get out which is the place where there is likely to be a fire.”

Insp Manson and Mr Johnson said they were not aware of any caravan fires in the region so far this holiday period.

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