About this time of year, we tend to start to think about where we are going to use our caravans in the coming year. The computer keyboard is pounded looking for exciting trips or the coffee table gets covered in those well-worn travel guides you have been using for years. We spend a few happy hours deciding where to go and at the risk of being a bit of a wet blanket on the fun, now also seems to be a good time to remind you of the safety aspect of your trip.
We have discussed driving and other safe travel issues in previous articles so let’s take a look at the safety aspects to consider when you arrive. Some of these are well worth talking over with any children you have with you to reinforce their safety on site. Sadly accidents do happen, and in most cases it is down to carelessness or not taking the time to do things right.
Setting up and hitching up.
It goes without saying that you should check your caravan is properly secured and that you have followed the instructions provided to make sure you have ‘locked and lowered’ (by which we mean the wheels and feet are correctly set up). Hooking up to utilities if they are provided is usually a fairly easy process, but again here we suggest you refer to the user manual. Once you are static, level and secure, remember to check around the ‘van regularly to make sure nothing has slipped or started to loosen up.
If at all possible place the van away from any overhead cables. If you are near them take extra care when erecting television aerials and similar high-level equipment. Remember this when setting up awnings or additional camping accessories because it is easy to accidentally touch a cable while moving long poles around. Please do not try to judge the height of cables from the ground, instead just play safe and avoid them.
Everyone will be taking care when driving on site but many vehicles will have restricted visibility so take extra care. It is probably a good idea to walk the site with children and point out where it is safe to play and where there could be hazards from cars.
Some sites are near, or sometimes in, areas frequented by animals and they will tend to leave little gifts. This may be good for the grass, but animal droppings can contain some pretty nasty diseases. If you are in an area where animal faeces is likely to be around, hand sanitiser and good old fashioned regular hand washing is a good idea.
Slipping and Tripping
A sprained ankle or worse can quickly ruin your holiday. Portable steps and plastic flooring can get very slippery in wet weather so take extra care and where possible tip off excess water. Some people take an old towel or a mop to quickly dry off steps and thresholds.
A lot of accidents can be prevented with a little bit of planning and some common sense safety measures, but cuts, grazes, stings, aching muscles are bound to happen at some point so always carry a good first aid kit.