Camping and caravanning safety

How to stay safe while camping

  • Put your tent or caravan at least six metres away from others and well away from parked vehicles.
  • Make sure you read the fire safety arrangements at the campsite.
  • Check to see if you have a phone signal and find out where the nearest phone is.
A woman and man setting up a tent together, with a lake and trees in the background.

What to do if there is a fire while camping

  • Keep calm and get everyone out and away as quickly as you can.
  • Call 999 and ask for the fire service.
  • Give the exact location - give a map reference if possible or give a landmark such as a nearby pub or a farm. You can use the What3Words app to help you.

The dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) while camping

  • BBQs give off poisonous carbon monoxide for hours after they are finished cooking. You should never use a portable or disposable BBQ inside your tent, vehicle or awning.
  • You should never use a BBQ to heat up a tent (or any space). They are for cooking, not heating.
  • You should not cook inside your tent or awning. To work safely, BBQs need more ventilation than your tent or awning can provide. There's also the risk of fire.
  • Modern tents have an integral structure with built-in groundsheets. Simply put, this means that carbon monoxide gas can rise to fatal levels in a matter of minutes if you use a BBQ inside a tent.
  • Don't rely on a carbon monoxide detector to keep you safe in a tent or awning. They are useful at home, in a caravan or in a motorhome, but they are not designed for the conditions found in a tent or awning.

Please read our carbon monoxide advice.

Using gas cylinders safely

  • Keep flammable liquids, such as petrol and gas cylinders, outside and away from children.
  • Service and maintain all gas appliances to ensure they are working efficiently and reduce the risks of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
  • Only change gas cylinders when they are completely empty. Store them away from caravans and vehicles.
  • Only change gas cylinders in the open air.
  • Make sure the gas pipe connection is secure. If you suspect a leak, turn off the main cylinder valve.

Incident gallery