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Safety and Security within a caravan park

Category: Practical Advice News | Author: Willie Bromehead |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 46633   5038

All caravanners and campers must be aware of the fact that they must also apply strict safety and security themselves, and not always rely on the resort owner or management to do so. It is very much up to all of us to provide safe, reliable and efficient means of protecting ourselves and our property.

Safety can be limited in relation to an undertaking used in order to ensure that the caravanners and campers will do only what they are meant to do: Camp in prescribed areas! Safety is the state of being "safe", (the condition of being protected) and it is important to realize that safety is relative and a safe situation is one where risks of injury or property damage are low and manageable.

For the Resort:

All reasonable precaution must be taken to secure the personal safety of guests and prevent damage to or theft of their possessions.  A high degree of general safety and security must be maintained at all times.

A boundary wall or fence around the Caravan Park area with lockable gates at main entrance to avoid unnecessary trespassing and unauthorized entry is mandatory. Adequate security and safety arrangements should be made at the Caravan Park viz. deployment of security guards with a system of patrolling etc. The gates into the caravan park can be remote controlled and each family is to be issued with a remote controller.

Given the fire potency of all camping gear it should be taken much more seriously across the board. For example, a fire hydrant within 60 meters of any camping site, in other words, one every 120m along with hose box, 2x30m hoses and spray nozzle. Fire extinguishers, water or sand buckets at strategic points in between (clearly marked with service record). Danger points could be gas installations at ablutions, diesel boilers, restaurants, etc. Supplementary equipment could include loud hailer or public address system, alarms, identifiable bibs for emergency workers, protective gear, etc. Simple safety procedures (Printed in A5 format for example) and emergency contact details should be handed to campers along with reservation documents. (Much like hotel rooms there should be simple rules in the ablutions, recreational areas etc.)

A person responsible for safety and security should be on call 24 hours, 7 days a week. His or her contact details must be clearly displayed at all appropriate places.

Emergency information, procedures and after hours contacts for assistance clearly displayed in English and Afrikaans and multi-pictogram if possible (dependant on the customer profile of the establishment).

A properly equipped First Aid kit should be available at the reception and adequate first aid training should be provided to the staff. The facility of ‘’doctor on call’ should be available at the park. A well defined system should be available to handle a medical emergency. The park management should maintain effective coordination with local medical establishments.

All caravan parks need to offer a high level of general safety.  If the caravanning and camping area is in a Game Park or Reserve, for example, and where the entrance to the reserve is security and entrance controlled, then the entrance and exit gates to the caravan & camping area needs not be controlled 24-hours a day.

An area of refuge or holding area should be provided for use by guests incase of an emergency evacuation. Such an area of refuge must conform to the requirements of the SANS 10400-S and must be inspected on a regular basis by the relevant local authority. These areas must be kept clutter free at all times.

Safety at water recreational facilities, such as swimming pools, dams and so on, also needs to be addressed with life saving equipment and trained life-saver in attendance during peak seasons.

For the camper:

Do not be aloof or isolated. Interact often with neighbors and staff of the resort.

In recent years, criminal activity has become a significant threat to the safety of campers. Criminal activity can take many forms: armed assault, hijackings and robbery. We should always be aware of the extent and activities of organized crime, and avoid tourist areas that are often favorite places for criminal activity.

Campers are responsible for securing their personal property, including, but not limited to, their caravans, motor homes or tents and the contents. Do not display jewelry, cash, keys, or other valuables in public or allow them to be left lying around in your tents. The resort, its owner, agents, and employees are not responsible or liable for theft or loss of any kind, nor damage caused by acts of God, fires, floods, windstorms, lightening strikes, accidents, or vandalism. Campers are responsible for maintaining insurance on their caravans, motor homes or tents, vehicles, and personal property.

Other, less expensive but easily transportable items, such as TV’s, decoders, CD players, lanterns, camp stoves, camp chairs, sports equipment and portable entertainment equipment often tend to "grow feet and walk away" when you're not looking if they aren't secured or monitored.

Most remote locations are pretty safe. However to ensure you won't become a target, it is best to camp in groups. A single camper camping away from other campers, or even alone, might invite an "informal shopper" to come visiting.

As any farmer will tell you, only a fool lets a fox guard the henhouse door.  — Proverb.

Take your guard dog with you.

Give ample warning.

Good security is essential.

Don't think that security incidents that happen to other campers will not affect you.

Leaving your R2 000.00 mountain bike leaning up against the back of your caravan overnight or while you're away from camp is an invitation for someone to "acquire" it for themselves.

If you must keep items outside your caravan or tent because they cannot be stored elsewhere, such as bikes and furniture, consider securing them to stable objects, such as a tree. This will make them harder to steal. If this is not practical, consider chaining them together to make them more difficult to steal

You might think it’s a good idea to use a padlock on your tent zips, but this can draw more attention to your tent and give potential thieves the impression that you have valuables inside. A determined criminal will get into your tent whether you use a padlock or not, so the best advice is to take your valuable items with you when you leave your campsite, or lock them in the boot of your car or inside the caravan itself.

Expect the unexpected, and always be protected.

Willie Bromehead

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