Electrical safety in caravans and tents

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"Roughing it" no longer has to be part of the caravanning and camping scene.  Toasters, freezers, television sets and other electrical appliances can be taken on holidays to make them much more enjoyable.

But beware! Electricity needs to be treated with extra caution in caravans and tents.

For caravans

Connecting to electricity supply

Power is available to caravan and camper vans at sites by connecting a supply extension lead from a socket outlet at an on-site connection facility to an inlet socket fitted on the van.

  • The supply extension lead must be one continuous length and be rated at 15 amperes.  The lead should also be between 3 and 15 metres long.
  • The lead should also be secured to the tie bar at the site connection facility.  Ensure the lead does not cross vehicle tracks or block access ways.
  • Worn or damaged leads should be repaired or replaced.
  • Always fully uncoil leads before using them.
  • Only one lead shall be connected to each socket outlet at the on-site connection facility.
  • There must be a separate lead for each inlet socket on the van.
  • Double adaptors must not be used to connect supply leads into the on-site connection facility.

Is your caravan safe?

The caravan must be wired to Australian New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 3001 by an electrical contractor.  A Caravan Installation Test Certificate (sticker) should be attached to the caravan to show that it meets the safety standards.

When connecting to caravan park site facility, check that the socket outlet has a safety switch.

For tents

  • Supply extension leads need to meet the requirements as outlined for caravans.
  • If the on-site connection point does not have safety switch protection for the outlets, it is recommended that a portable safety switch be used to supply the tents.
  • Electricity supply must not be obtained from another tent having a different occupier or situated on another site.

Connecting electrical equipment in a tent

If there is more than one appliance to be connected in the tent, use an approved portable socket outlet box.  Place the outlet box on a rigid support in a dry and protection position.

If possible, switch the power off at night or when electricity is not being used.

Is your electrical equipment safe to connect?

There are additional hazards for campers in tents.  The combined factors of electricity and damp areas (such as grass, canvas etc) are potentially fatal.

  • Ensure that electrical appliances are of an approved type and are sufficiently robust for the harsh conditions that may be encountered whilst travelling and camping.
  • Light fittings should be of durable and insulated construction with protection against lamp breakages.
  • Keep appliance leads and extension leads out of the way.  Leads trailing around in a tent are dangerous, especially for children.

What should I do if I receive an electric shock?

Despite all the precautions we take, faults can occur in electrical wiring, appliances and equipment that cause electric shocks or damage to property.  If you receive an electric shock or property is damaged (even if it is only minor) due to an electrical incident:

  • STOP using the appliance, or keep away from whatever gave you an electric shock; and
  • report the electric shock by telephoning your local network operator (such as Western Power on 13 13 51) and EnergySafety on our 24-hour Freecall number 1800 678 198.

Regulations require all cases of electric shock and damage to property from electrical incidents to be reported so that the cause of the shock/damage can be investigated and corrected.  Minor shocks can lead to electrocution (death).

Electrical safety in caravans and tents

A guide to using electricity and electrical safety when caravanning or camping.

Using electricity safely in caravans and tents

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