Because of their limited space and high ratio of combustible materials, caravan fires can be deadly and spread quickly. To ensure your family’s safety, take all the preventative measures you would at home, while, if anything, taking even greater care.

Good fire prevention starts with pitching your caravan with a good gap between your vehicle and the ones parked closest to you.

Once you arrive on site, find out what fire fighting arrangements are in place. You can even chat to the fire brigade about safety before you head off on your trip – your local fire service will gladly give advice and information.

Smoking is a number one cause of caravan blazes. Use ashtrays, never smoke in bed and keep your lighters and matches well away from children.

Take extra care when cooking, especially when using hot oils and chip pans, and never, ever try and cook while on the move.

Good maintenance is also important – that means keeping your caravan tidy so no exits are blocked, checking wiring regularly and ensuring windows open easily. Also make sure that air vents are never blocked. And make sure everyone knows how to evacuate and what to do if there is a fire.

You should also keep a fire blanket, extinguisher and smoke detector on board. Check the detector regularly, and keep the extinguisher by the door.

Use torches rather than candles if there is a power cut – in fact you should never light a candle in a caravan at any time.

Choose catalytic gas rather than electric heaters. Keep gas cylinders turned off whenever you are not using them, and store outside once you are pitched. Check the seals and hoses on them regularly.

Most caravan blazes are preventable, so don’t let one spoil your holiday. Follow these basic common sense precautions, and minimise the risk of it happening to you.