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Space Heaters a Potential Cause of RV Fires

March 9, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

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Fire safety is essential when camping in your recreational vehicle.

In earlier posts I reported on space heater fires that destroyed RVs and caused the death of its occupants—both human and canine.

Following are recent reports on four RVs destroyed by fires that were caused by human carelessness.

Ohio: Space Heater Cause of Camper Fire

Mansfieldnewsjournal.com reports that a camper was destroyed in a fire caused by an electric space heater. A family of four was displaced after a fire consumed their Charles Mill Lake camper. Mark and Amy Snyder and their two children, Savannah, 10, and Taylor, 13, had been living in the camper for the past year.

“We lost everything (in the fire),” Mark Snyder said. “But everybody made it out alive, and that’s all that matters.”

The family’s two cats and a pet rabbit were killed in the fire, Mark said. The family dog survived.

Ashland County’s Mifflin Township Fire Department responded to the camper fire just after midnight, chief JJ Bittinger said. When crews arrived, the fire was fully engaged. Firefighters spent two hours dousing the flames and cleaning up. The camper and all of its contents are considered a total loss. Bittinger said firefighters attribute the cause of the fire to an electric space heater in the children’s bedroom.

Potential space heater fire (Source: familyhandyman.com)

Potential space heater fire (Source: familyhandyman.com)

Amy said everyone was asleep when the fire broke out in Savannah and Taylor’s bedroom. Savannah woke up to smoke in the room and started screaming “fire”. Amy’s rental car also was damaged in the fire.

Montana: Propane Heater Cause of Trailer Fire

Kxlf.com reports a man escaped from a camp trailer fire at the KOA Campground in Butte. The Butte Fire Department investigators who responded to the fire determined it was started by a defective propane heater in the trailer. The man managed to evacuate the trailer unharmed, but the vehicle was heavily damaged by the fire.

Texas: Propane Space Heater Causes RV Fire

Rockportpilot.com reports a small propane heater exploded in the face of a 78-year-old man who was attempting to light it in his RV, which was in an RV park. He was rescued from the burning RV by a neighbor.

The man, Jesse Evans, was checked at the scene by EMS personnel who noted he had burns to his face. He was transported to the EMS helipad then taken by HALO-Flight to a burn unit in San Antonio. Evans told paramedics he was attempting to light the heater when it exploded.

Washington: Space Heater Fire Cause of Trailer Fire That Kills Canadian Snowbird

Gazette-tribune.com reports a Saskatchewan man who winters each year in Oroville died in a fatal motorhome fire in Prince’s RV Park.

The Oroville Fire, Police and Ambulance departments, as well as an Okanogan County Sheriff’s Deputy responded to the scene at around 4:06 a.m., according to Sheriff Frank Rogers. When emergency personnel arrived they believed a subject was staying in the trailer but were not sure and the fire at the trailer was fully involved, said the sheriff.

(Source: firesafetycouncil.com)

(Source: firesafetycouncil.com)

“Once the fire was put out they discovered the body of Cornelius D. Friesen, 84, of Glenbush, Saskatchewan. The trailer belonged to Friesen, who comes down to Oroville during the winter and was living in the trailer. Detective Sloan from the Sheriff’s Office also responded to the scene to investigate the cause,” said Rogers.

At this time it appears that the fire was caused by space heater in the trailer and Friesen was the only one in the trailer at the time of the fire.

9 Tips For Safe Operation of RV Space Heaters

1. Buy a space heater that is the correct size for the area that needs to be heated.

2. Buy a space heater with covers or guards over the working parts of the heater to prevent burns. This is especially important if you have children or pets.

3. Maintain at least three feet around space heaters and keep them out of the reach of children. and pets. Pets can easily knock them over or children can get burned on them.

5. Never leave a space heater turned on when going to bed or leaving the room or RV.

6. Ensure your space heater has tip-over protection and overheat protection, both of which will force a shut-off if there’s a problem.

7. Be aware that RVs require specially designated heating equipment and only electric or vented fuel-fired heaters should be used.

8. Plug space heaters directly into an outlet: don’t use extension cords or power strips.

9. To avoid fire and exposure to carbon monoxide, don’t use outdoor fuel heaters, like those meant for camping, indoors.

Worth Pondering…

Remember, safety is no accident.

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If you enjoy these articles and want to read more on RV travels and lifestyle, visit my website: Vogel Talks RVing.

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