With the bitter cold temperatures in Canada, I could do with a bit more heat. A reminder to be careful especially with unattended heat sources. It does not take long for a coach or a fifth wheel to be totally destroyed by fire in minutes.
Canada experiences roughly 12,000 residential fires each year. RV fires are not broken out separately by any of the major government agencies in Canada. At least not any of the sources I consulted. In the United States, there are roughly 6,000 RV fires each year. A reasonable assumption is that Canada would experience hundreds of RV fires in a year.
There are several common causes of fire in motorhomes. Let’s look at a few of them.
Roughly half of RV fires occur when parked. The leading cause of fire? The appliance that you use to keep your food cold.
Defective Dometic And Norcold RV refrigerators can burst into flames. Norcold and Dometic‘s gas-absorption refrigerators have a serious safety defect. Thankfully we run a residential Whirlpool refrigerator. You can read more about the defective Dometic and Norcold issue here. If I had one, I would replace it immediately.
Another major cause of fire when parked? Electrical shorts and faulty wiring. I check visible wiring frequently especially in the engine compartment.
Unattended heat sources, such as electric heaters, grills and stovetops, contribute to fires. Nesting animals and propane leaks round up the common causes of RV fires when parked.
The other half of RV fires take place while a coach is in motion. The major contributors are engine compartments, wheels and axles. Diesel pusher engines are particularly prone to catching fire. Always check for leaks in the engine bay. It is part of our circle check before we drive our coach.
Fires happen even when a coach is left parked and stored unattended. In this video several luxury coaches go up in smoke. That must have cost a few million dollars!