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Make camping less in-tents with these safety tips

27 September 2018

As the weather warms and days grow longer, Queenslanders will be hitting the great outdoors in droves and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is urging campers and four-wheel drivers to stay safe.

Fair Trading Executive Director Brian Bauer said it was important to have a great time with family and friends but to remember safety was the number one priority.

“To avoid potential dangers when using camping or four-wheel driving equipment, think safety first by always following product instructions and recommendations,” Mr Bauer said.

“Remember to plan your trip in advance and make sure your vehicle and camping equipment are in good working condition.

“If you’re using elastic luggage straps, or “occy” straps, to secure your camping equipment, be aware the hooks can rebound and cause serious eye injury, even permanent blindness.

“Do not stretch the strap beyond its capacity, make sure hooks are firmly attached and secured at each end and always release slowly, keeping your face and body out of the rebound path.

“If you’re taking a portable generator on your trip, make sure not to operate it in a confined space or in areas that are not well ventilated, such as tents and caravans.

“If you plan to use portable cookers or barbeques in a covered area, make sure that the area is well ventilated and there is no fire hazard from any radiated heat.”

Mr Bauer also said four-wheel drivers should never leave home without the right safety equipment and the know-how to use it.

“In case your vehicle gets bogged, make sure your snatch strap is in good condition, the correct length and has an appropriate recovery load limit,” he said.

“Snatch straps are required to be marked and supplied with specific product information and instructions on how to use them safely. Always read and follow the instructions.

“Only attach a snatch strap to a point on the vehicle that is suitable and while the snatch strap is in use, have other passengers move away from the vehicle up to 1.5 times the length of the un-stretched strap.

“If a vehicle jack is required, it should be used on firm level ground at all times. The wheels of the vehicle, caravan or trailer should be chocked and no person should remain in a vehicle that is being jacked.

“Once you’ve checked your gear and loaded your four-wheel drive, gather your family or friends, head out and have some fun this summer.”

Other tips from the OFT for a safe four-wheel drive camping holiday:

  • Only purchase products subject to a mandatory standard that comply with the relevant safety standard.
  • Always use products according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Make sure to check portable gas generators are Australian safety certified.

Stay informed on mandatory product standards by visiting: https://www.productsafety.gov.au/product-safety-laws/safety-standards-bans/mandatory-standards

Other helpful information can be found on our website www.qld.gov.au/fairtrading or by calling 13 QGOV (13 74 68).