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Quick thinking averts a more serious blaze at caravan club

Quick thinking averts a more serious blaze at caravan club

25 August 2016

Firefighters are praising the quick actions of a volunteer grounds maintenance team member at Bearsted Carvan Club, in Hollingbourne, today (Thursday).

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) received a 999 call into its emergency control centre shortly before 11am from Dave Francis, who works for the club, which is based on the Ashford Road, after he heard a smoke alarm sounding in one of the caravans.

Dave explained what happened: "As soon as I heard the alarm, I grabbed one of the dedicated fire extinguishers that we have on site and went to investigate, calling the fire service and the owner on my way.  

"As soon as I spotted the flames through the window, I gained access and used the extinguisher to tackle the fire. The fire crew arrived within no time, they were absolutely brilliant, making made sure the fire was completely out and that all the gas and electricity supplies were isolated."

KFRS crew manager, Dominic Moore said: "Fires can spread easily in a confined space, fed by the many flammable materials that are part of the structure of a caravan and its contents. This one is believed to have been caused after a washing up bowl was left on top of an electric hob, which had accidentally been switched on.

"Accidents can and do happen but please don’t store items on top of cookers. My other advice would be to make sure you have working smoke alarms, they are the real life-savers in every property."

Crews were at the scene for approximately 25 minutes but will be revisiting the site to speak to other caravan owners about keeping safe from fire over the coming days.

Follow this safety advice to help prevent a fire in your caravan:

  • Take special care when cooking – don’t leave pans unattended and clear the area after you’ve used them 

  • Turn off all appliances before you leave the caravan or go to bed 

  • Make sure ashtrays are made of a material that can’t burn – and never smoke in bed

  • Never dry clothes over the stove or in the near vicinity of portable gas heaters 

  • Remove any litter and rubbish from near the caravan to reduce the risk of fire spreading 

  • Make sure the caravan is well ventilated, and air vents are never blocked, to avoid a build up of poisonous gasses

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