Safety regulations are in place regarding every single Holiday Home rental & these MUST be legally followed;
- Owners, please check you have complied with all of the following.
- Holiday-Makers, please check these are all in place before you commence your long-earned holidays & check relevant appliances on your arrival!
- Annual gas safety checks MUST be carried out.
- 3-Yearly electrical safety checks MUST be carried out.
(Preferable to have these certificates clearly displayed, but not essential - although they must be produced if requested. Each Park office holds a copy of these certificates for every Holiday Home on site.)
- Working smoke alarms MUST be in situ.
- Working carbon monoxide alarms MUST be in situ.
- Working fire extinguisher MUST be in situ.
These should be tested regularly to ensure they are in good working order. (Not a bad idea to have some spare batteries, & even spare alarms at the Holiday Home, just in case of a break-down during a guest's stay.)
- ALL "portable" electrical items MUST be annually PAT tested (Portable Appliance Test) - this includes ANYTHING that needs to be plugged in, (from kettles, to TVs, to fridges.)
Each plug should be given a relevant (green) PAT label - not the actual item. If the item is under 1 year old this is not required, but if it's older than that - it is the LAW!
Owners - you MUST make sure you have sufficient Legal Liability Indemnity cover (LLI) - this is usually included in your insurance policy, but it's worth a quick check to make sure!
All that aside, a lot of the safety issues in Holiday Homes are down to pure common sense, which unfortunately can go straight out of the window when we get our "holiday-heads" on.....
The picture you can see to the side of this blog is INSIDE the walls of a caravan - ie: What it is made of! Once the top, thin metal sheet covering is off - all that is underneath is a wooden framework which is filled with polystyrene blocks for insulation, then the interior walls. That's it!
A caravan is an exceedingly flammable creature.
There have been a lot of "helpful tips" posted over the years on how to keep warm in a caravan - which are just ludicrous & should NEVER be followed. You wouldn't even contemplate doing most of these at home, so don't listen to your "Holiday-Head" when you are away:
- NEVER have the oven or hob on for "warmth."
- NEVER use gas fires or electric heaters to dry clothes, at best they will scorch & at worst, you’ll have a fire to deal with.
- NEVER leave electric heaters or the gas fire on unattended.
- NEVER leave a naked flame burning unattended (candles & the like) - you'll find most Holiday Home Owners provide torches should there happen to be a power cut - as candles & caravans just don't mix well.
- NEVER have a lit BBQ inside (yes, this has been known with a little portable "tray" one!) - not only is it a fire risk - but a MAJOR carbon monoxide threat & the fumes CAN KILL.
- If you have an outside BBQ - be sensible! Don't light in next to the gas tank & keep the kids well away, even as it is burning out & "cooling down!" It may look "out" whilst it's still red hot.
- CIGARETTES: Please check with your owner, you will find the majority of Holiday Homes are non-smoking. Please respect this. Most will state there is a deposit loss if this isn't adhered to.
CARBON MONOXIDE SYMPTOMS:
There are approximately 400 admissions to hospital with Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning in England each year and around 40-50 deaths. It's known as the "silent Killer" as it's a colourless and odourless gas, making its presence very difficult to detect.
Please BE AWARE of the symptoms (at home & on your Jollidays):
Mild: Headache, nausea, vomiting & maybe a general feeling of being "unwell." These non-specific symptoms may be misdiagnosed as more common illnesses, such as flu, gastroenteritis or food poisoning. This may lead to CO poisoning being overlooked initially, unless there is a clear history of exposure.
Moderate: As the degree of CO poisoning becomes more marked, there may be a generalised feeling of weakness, with dizziness, unsteadiness & problems with concentration & thinking. More obvious changes in behaviour, confusion & drowsiness develop & there may be shortness of breath & chest pain.
Severe: In severe CO exposure, serious deterioration can occur quite quickly, with seizures, coma & death.
Your Holiday Home Owner should provide you with a basic First Aid Kit, but it's not a bad idea to take the "essentials" with you from home. All Holiday Parks have "First Aid" trained staff that will be available to you during facility opening hours.
Don't forget you can use 111 for medical advice & 999 in an emergency. Make sure you have the full Holiday Park address to hand.
ETK wish you safe & happy holidays.