A friend/or work collegue of my brother’s – can’t remember which, used to have regular fire drills for his family where they would all have to evacuate the house as if there was a fire. We used to think this was pretty hysterical, I think even the family pets were involved!!
Turns out it is quite a good idea as this morning we had the opportunity for our own fire drill and knowing what to grab and take in time of an emergency saves for a lot of faffing!!
Picture the scene – 5 o’clock this morning – I know but we are early risers and Oscar’s body clock is set to receive tuna at that time so no-one sleeps past 5 in our caravan! Hubby had made tea and come back to bed when he uttered the immortal line ‘can you smell burning’. Well I hadn’t up until that point but as soon as he mentioned it sure enough I could smell burning plastic. Now seeing as everything electrical in the caravan was off at this point and the smell was strongest up the bed end it didn’t take much deducing to work out that it must be coming from the electrics that are all situated under the bed. Ok, at this point in time it didn’t seem like a good idea to be sitting on top of said burning smell and so I exited the bed pretty swiftly.
And so began our fire drill which I have to say we executed quite well and fairly calmly under the circumstances. Within 5 minutes the cats were in their cat baskets in the back of the car along with all our important documents and financial details; and of course the laptop and the electrics to the caravan disconnected. I also suggested that it may be a good idea if we got changed as if the whole caravan went up in smoke I wasn’t keen on the fact that the only clothes I would own would be my bed clothes. I put on clean underwear, jeans, t shirt and a fleecy but hubby just pulled on his ‘gypie’ trousers i.e. his oil splattered old tracksuit trousers that he does all his DIY and car mechanics in!!! Answers the question of what he would save in the event of a fire I guess…..
5 hours later we have located the problem and are trying to deal with it although with all shops closed today it is looking unlikely that we will sort it until tomorrow. Once we pulled the bed up and got to the electrics underneath it was pretty easy to locate where the smell was coming from. The main power management system box (sounds very fancy but in reality is just a little grey metal box!) was the culprit and once we managed to get inside it – not easy at it was sealed with rivets!! we discovered some shockingly bad wiring that had obviously been shorting out and burning for some while. Cue an opportunity by hubby to bemoan the standard of workmanship that has caused said problem and the realisation from me that the burning smell that I have been smelling for the past 2 months or so had obviously not been coming from a faulty light as I had assummed!!
So, hubby is now working out what we need to replace it all and at the moment I am camped out in the awning. Luckily we have an outside power supply that we can still connect to the mains so we have some electricity, the cooker is gas (for hubby), we don’t need heating at the moment and we have candles for lighting so we can cope without electricity in the caravan until tomorrow when hopefully we can get it all sorted.
Not quite the way I had planned my sunday morning to look but at least we know what to do in the event of an emergency now!!!