Download the PDF file: Recreational Vehicles

The term Recreational Vehicles (RVs) is used to cover caravans, camper trailers, motor homes and all other forms of mobile accommodation.

Before you Leave on Holiday

Please note that in some states RVs must be fitted with a smoke alarm by law, regardless of where they are registered. In South Australia if an occupied RV is on-site for 60 days or longer a hard-wired or 10 year, long life, non-removable, non-replaceable battery powered smoke alarm is required by law.

  • The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (MFS) strongly recommends that you install a smoke alarm in your RV.
    • The MFS recommends that you use a photo-electric type smoke alarm with a hush button that desensitises the alarm for a short period during cooking. Note: Ionisation type smoke alarms are not suitable for use near cooking facilities.
    • The MFS recommends that the smoke alarm be powered by a 10-year life, non-removable, non-replaceable battery so that you have protection even when you are not connected to power.
    • Test the smoke alarm before leaving on holiday and once a week when the RV is in use.
    • Refer to the MFS fact sheet Smoke Alarms for information on maintaining your smoke alarm in good working order.
  • Check gas appliances.
    • Check that LPG connections on the cylinder and gas appliances are tight and that they are not
    • Ensure that the cylinder and appliances are properly secured to the RV.
    • Check visually for any damage or wear and tear to pipes.
  • Check electrical appliances for frayed cords and any other visible damage.
  • Fire extinguishers and fire blankets
    • Australian Standard 2444 (Portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets) recommends that the minimum fire extinguisher you should fit is a Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher 1A:5B. The MFS recommends a larger Dry Chemical Powder fire extinguisher with an E rating for electrical hazards - 1A:20B:(E).
    • Larger RVs with multiple compartments require a minimum of two extinguishers with a minimum rating of 1A:5B. Consideration should be given to all extinguishers having an E rating for electrical hazards.
    • Check the extinguisher pressure gauge before using the RV. If the needle is in the red section of the gauge, have the extinguisher serviced by a recognised servicing organisation or replace it.
    • Fire extinguishers should be serviced by a recognised servicing organisation or be replaced every five years.
    • Maintain the extinguisher by inverting it regularly and shaking it to prevent ‘compacting’ of the powder extinguishing agent. Check the pressure gauge and the expiry date on the cylinder when you do so.
    • Fit a fire blanket in the RV.
    • The extinguisher(s) and fire blanket should be located near an exit where they are easily accessible and where escape is also an option.

    For more information on fire extinguishers and fire blankets please view our Home Fire Safety fact sheet: ‘Fire Extinguishers for Domestic Use’ and ‘Fire Blankets’.

  • Have an escape plan for the family in case of fire. Your plan should include ensuring all others are awake, an assembly location well away from the RV and a means of calling the fire service.
  • Make sure exits and exit paths are not obstructed.

While on Holidays:

  • Turn off the gas cylinder valve before travelling.
  • Cook with care; never leave cooking unattended.
  • Ensure that the RV is well ventilated when using any gas appliances.
  • Keep gas or electric heaters well clear of internal fittings. Turn heaters off at the power point or gas cylinder before going to bed.
  • Dispose of cigarettes and smoking materials carefully. Provide deep-sided ashtrays. Never smoke in bed. Never smoke near flammable items e.g. jerry cans containing fuel, gas cylinders etc.
  • Switch off all electrical appliances at the power point and unplug them when not in use.
  • Store flammable liquids in approved sealed containers and keep well clear of the RV. Never transport flammable liquids in the RV.
  • Position the RV in a clear area away from long grass and never accumulate rubbish around or under the RV.
  • If possible, have a garden hose with nozzle attached to a tap on site for firefighting.

Combine the above safety tips with the installation of well-maintained, photo-electric smoke alarms in your home that are less than 10 years old. Consider having all your smoke alarms interconnected.

For further advice:


Phone: (08) 8204 3611

Country Callers: 1300 737 637

Want more information about choosing the right fire extinguisher?

Look at our Fire Extinguishers for Domestic Use Fact Sheet