Jim Somerfield with his truck rim fire at the 2010 Optus Muster. Campers are urged to exercise caution with fires these school holidays to avoid accidents.
Jim Somerfield with his truck rim fire at the 2010 Optus Muster. Campers are urged to exercise caution with fires these school holidays to avoid accidents. Craig Warhurst

Don't let your Muster go up in smoke

AS caravan enthusiasts brave the cold and head to the popular camping event, the Gympie Music Muster, firefighters want to make sure their caravans are fitted with working smoke alarms.

Amamoor Creek Campground is a popular spot for grey nomads in the winter months leading up to the country music festival at the end of August.

And as temperatures can fall well below the region's minimum average out at Amamoor State Forest, visitors to the area are being urged to fit smoke alarms into their mobile homes just as they would in the family home.

Queensland Fire and Rescue Service recommends photoelectric smoke alarms that "see" smoke, by detecting visible particles of combustion, such as smouldering cigarette smoke, or smoke from stove fires.

Caravan owners also need to check their van for potential hazards.

Caravans and mobile homes have many ignition points, from cooking elements to external gas bottles.

"Following a few simple steps may well save a loved one's life in the event of an emergency," QFRS North Coast Region Assistant Commissioner John Watson said.

"Once smoke alarms are installed they should be tested and cleaned every month. A quick wipe over with a damp cloth is all that's needed to ensure the alarm stays clean," he said.

"Batteries should also be replaced every 12 months.

"It's important to ensure your gas bottle is in good working order, with no leaks. (And) it is critical that you have an evacuation plan, and that all occupants of the caravan are familiar with it.

"Ensure there is nothing obstructing your exit and the path through the annexe of the caravan and to the outside is clear," Assistant Commissioner Watson said.

STEPS TO AVOID A FIRE

  • Ensure you have at least one smoke detector fitted in your caravan or mobile home.
  • When using the cooker - for cooking or heating - never leave it unattended.
  • Ensure all heaters,cookers and TV sets are switched off last thing at night or when leaving your caravan or mobile home.
  • Do not use multi-adaptors.
  • If you smoke, use metal or glass ashtrays - not plastic.
  • Park caravans and mobile homes at least six metres apart.

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