Fire safety should be a top concern for campsite and caravan park owners. Whether you just let out a small parcel of land, or run a multi hectare campsite, you can’t shirk your fire safety responsibilities.

According to Direct Gov, a fire can destroy a tent in less than a minute and nearly one caravan catches fire every day.

Keeping good, well-stocked fire points at regular intervals across your site is crucial to keeping customers safe.

It is also essential if you are to get and keep a campsite or caravan park licence from the local authority.

Licences are essential for permanent and seasonal campsites that host tents for 42 consecutive days at a time or more than 60 days in 12 consecutive months (except in Scotland).

A good fire safety record is one of the big pre-conditions on which campsite licences rest. And they are subject to regular inspections by the local authority.

Gas safety certificates, spacing between units, fire points and other aspects may be inspected, and failure to comply with site licence conditions may lead to prosecution.

Campsite fire point requirements

Your fire point needs to be safe and it also needs to pass inspections from your local authority.

Conditions laid out in the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 represent a model of good practice that local authorities should consider when awarding campsite licences.

The legislation lays out some measures of good practice, but it also gives a high degree of authority to the local fire service, which it says the council should consult on local conditions and requirements.

For this reason, it would be a good idea to contact the local fire authority and see what their recommendations are.

It may be that local weather patterns require more fire points than is standard across the country.

As good practice, the legislation recommends that fire points should be no more than 30 meters from a fire point. This means that you should lay out your campsite with fire points in mind.

You should also ensure that tents, motorhomes and caravans are pitched at least 6 meters apart to prevent the spread of fire.

The guidelines also call for fire points to be housed inside weatherproof structures, that are easily accessible and well labelled as a ‘Fire Point’.

Layout of fire points and tents

Fire point equipment

Where water standpipes are provided and, and there is a water supply with a good enough flow to shoot water about five meters, these standpipes should be positioned at every fire point.

The standpipe should be fitted with a reel conforming to British Standard 5306 Part 1 and a hose that’s at least 30 meters long.

Everything should be well marked and ideally housed in a red box with the words ‘Hose Reel’.

Where standpipes are not provided but there is a water supply of sufficient pressure and flow, fire hydrants should be installed within 100 metres of pitches.

Access to hydrants and other water supplies should not be obstructed or obscured.

No standpipes or hydrants

If your campsite is not well equipped with standpipes and hydrants and there is no way of boosting the water pressure to substantial levels, you must provide standalone fire points.

These should contain two fire extinguishers, two filled fire buckets and ideally a hand pump or bucket pump.

Many smaller campsites and temporary campsites (such as at festivals) will have this arrangement.

There should also be some type of alarm to alert other campers tot the danger. This can be a large gong and striker or a hand operated siren. You should also display advice on the best way to contact the fire authority.

For quick fighting of small fires or for different types of fire it can be a good idea to have fire buckets outside tents and caravans or at more regular intervals to help prevent small fires spreading.

It is important that you make sure this equipment is in place. If you have recently bought a campsite it is important that you check it complies with the regulations because the previous owner may have neglected them.

Fire buckets

red 16 litre fire bucketFire buckets can be filled with water, coarse sand or special fire ‘absorption’ powder. They require very little maintenance and are useful for tackling small blazes before they have a chance to develop into larger blazes.

Fire buckets are particularly useful in outdoor environments where there is a higher than normal risk of fire, such as on petrol station forecourts and on campsites with lots of flammable structures.

H&O Plastics manufacture and sell high quality plastic fire buckets that are designed to withstand the elements and live outside for a long period of time. Bold colours and lettering also make these buckets easy to spot in an emergency.

More campsite fire safety tips

Apart from having a well-stocked fire point, there are lots of other fire safety tips and tricks that can make your campsite safer for customers and more likely to pass a licensing inspection.

Here are some of the most important:

fire buckets 16L red Fire buckets might seem like a bit of a low-tech solution to fire safety, particularly when fire extinguishers are sprinkler systems are so common.

But fire buckets still have an important role to play in your company’s fire risk assessment. They are useful for tackling small blazes before they have a chance to spread.

Fire buckets are small and cheap, so they can be placed strategically where fires are likely to break out.

Fire buckets are useful in outdoor environments like campsites and caravan parks, where there is a high risk of fire outbreak – and where fire extinguishers would be liable to rust.

They are also good at preventing fires. If you fill a fire bucket with a special ‘fire absorbent’ sand, then it can be used to cover up spilt flammable chemicals like petrol.

Where fire buckets are used:

Fire bucket safety

Fire safety is a legal duty as an employer. Here are our top tips on how to make your premises safer for employees and the public with fire buckets.

Fire risk assessment

If your business employs five or more people, then you must keep a written record of your fire risk assessment.

This will identify what you need to do to prevent fires, tackle fires and keep people safe. You need to identify fire hazards and specific risks to people. Then you need to evaluate, remove and reduce these risks.

You should identify where fires can start and how they will be tackled. You also need to show that you have communicated clearly with staff.

Your fire risk assessment must include:

Position fire-fighting equipment

The position of firefighting equipment will need to be considered as part of your fire risk assessment. Different businesses and different premises will need different firefighting equipment to reflect the risks and needs in the immediate environment.

Many businesses will want to consider purchasing or constructing a fire point. A fire point will typically be stocked with different fire extinguishers (suitable for different kinds of fire), as well as other equipment like fire buckets and a fire alarm.

Fire points are often positioned on movable trolleys and placed in prominent positions so as to be useful in an emergency.

Signpost your fire buckets

Fire buckets are useful for tackling small blazes before they have chance to develop into large fires. This means that if a fire breaks out, then the fire buckets need to be in action quickly.

H&O Plastics’ fire buckets are bright red and boldly emblazoned with the word ‘FIRE’ in large black letters. This helps ensure that they will not be missed in an emergency.

But it is also important that you signpost where fire buckets are. You can buy fire safety regulation compliant signs online. These signs should be placed at eye level so they are easy to spot.

Placing them around your fire point could help save vital seconds in an emergency.

What do you fill fire buckets with?

Fire buckets can be filled with different firefighting material including water, firefighting sand and special ‘absorbent’ powder.

What kind of filling you use will depend on the type of fire you expect to break out. For most types of fire, coarse fire sand will do the job. If chemicals are present, special fire ‘absorbent’ powder will be more appropriate.

Stop fire buckets being misused

There is often a temptation for people to use fire buckets for different purposes.

Sometimes they are used as ashtrays – particularly if you have sand or fire suppressant in. Lids can help prevent this.

Other times a fire bucket may be the only bucket container on site – and if somebody needs a bucket they may be tempted to dump the sand or fire suppressant, wash the bucket out and use it for a different purpose.

You can prevent this by communicating clearly with your staff. And consider buying some multi-use plastic buckets when you make your order from Buckets are always useful for different things and you never know when you might need one.


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