(KMID/KPEJ)- A string of RV fires throughout the summer has prompted officials to speak out about safety and how to respond if your RV catches fire. 

This comes after an RV fire in Midland displaced one family Friday night and another three RVs caught fire in Odessa the same evening. Four other RV fires displaced Odessa families in August and one in July sent one person to the hospital for treatment from smoke inhalation. In June, the Ector County Sheriff’s Office also said one person was found dead after an RV fire

The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 2,000 RV fires occur annually, a staggering statistic especially since so many people in the Basin live in RVs full time.

Fire safety tips for parked RVs:

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Never leave appliances that are plugged in and on unattended.
  • Turn off overhead exhaust fans when you leave the RV.
  • Don’t leave 12-volt lights on. Keep clothing and other burnable things away from them (like in storage spaces). They get very hot.
  • If the flame on your galley stove goes out while in use, unless you have run out of fuel, the gas will continue to flow and could result in an explosion. Turn off the stove and air out the RV before trying to relight.
  • Keep all combustibles, from paper towels to curtains, far enough away from your stove that they cannot catch fire.
  • Gasoline and propane can pose an immediate, explosive danger. Deal at once with any leaks or spills and use all fuels in adequately vented areas. Operate your generator in an area where gasoline fumes cannot reach an ignition source.
  • RVs often have a very limited number of electrical outlets, and sometimes RVers use power strips to plug in more things. Don’t overload the electrical outlets! Circuit breakers don’t always prevent overloads from starting fires.
  • It’s best never to use an extension cord in an RV. If you must, make sure you use a heavy-duty extension cord, and make sure the load you put on it is well within its safe load capacity. DON’T run any electrical cord under a carpet or floor mat.

If there is a fire:

  • The first step is to get everybody out of the RV and safely away from the fire.
  • If it is a small fire and you can extinguish it without putting yourself in danger, put it out with a fire extinguisher.
  • If it is too big of a fire or coming from an unknown source, do not risk your safety, get out.
  • Never re-enter a burning RV to retrieve anything.
  • Call 911.