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Safety tips for a five (thousand) star camping experience

1 October 2019

Queenslanders looking to take in the great outdoors – and perhaps sleep out under the stars – this long weekend are being encouraged to pay close attention to a few simple safety tips for their camping holiday.

Fair Trading Acting Executive Director Craig Turner said it was important to plan ahead for the experience and ensure sure vehicles and equipment were in good working order.

“This doesn’t just apply to your standard camping equipment. There are products people often forget to check, such as sunglasses, aquatic toys or swimming aids, that families may be using as they take advantage of the Queensland spring weather,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Turner said it was crucial for four-wheel drivers to check their recovery straps, commonly known as ‘snatch straps’, before setting out to make sure they are in good condition and have an appropriate recovery load limit to use them safely.

“Recovery straps are designed to connect two vehicles together when one is bogged down, needing to be pulled out by the other vehicle,” he said.

“Due to the huge amount of tension generated on straps under these circumstances, a damaged or incorrectly used recovery strap can cause serious injury or death.

“Families’ equipment checks should also include sunglasses. Sunglasses are classified into different categories based on their effectiveness to provide sun glare reduction and UV protection.

“Australian safety standards require sunglasses to be labelled correctly, so consumers know the level of protection they provide, and how they should be used.

Mr Turner also said those intending to go boating or swimming should be aware that mandatory standards applied to aquatic toys and swimming and floatation aids made for children under 14 years of age.

“Aquatic toys, such as inflatable rings and jumbo animals, need to have safe use advice prominently displayed on them,” he said.

“This is to highlight to parents and carers the risk of using these types of products as a safety device.

“Make sure you always pay attention to these warnings, follow the safe use instructions, check the toys before use to make sure there are no leaks or damaged valves, and supervise children in the water.”

Mr Turner said quad bike accidents were also unfortunately common and could happen very easily.

“I urge riders to follow important safety steps when using quad bikes to help you, your loved ones and friends stay safe this long weekend,” he said.

Prepare safe

  • Decide if a quad bike is the right vehicle for the activity.
  • Ensure you are properly trained before you ride a quad bike.
  • Maintain the bike so it is in safe condition.
  • Read the operator manual and observe the manufacturer's safety warnings and recommended use of the vehicle.
  • Before you leave for a quad bike ride, always tell someone where you plan to go and when you expect to return.

Wear safe

  • Always wear a helmet.
  • Wear protective clothing and gear such as goggles, long sleeves, long pants, boots and gloves/hand protection.

Ride safe

  • Never let children ride quad bikes that are meant for adults – even as passengers.
  • Do not carry any passengers on quad bikes that are meant for one person.
  • Quad bikes are not all-terrain vehicles so they cannot go safely over all types of ground. Avoid riding on rough terrain or steep slopes.
  • Ride on familiar tracks and beware of obstacles.
  • Never ride under the influence of alcohol/drugs.
  • Ensure children are supervised at all times near any quad bike activity.
  • Always carry a mobile phone or radio device so you can contact help in case of an emergency.

Think ‘safety first’ by always following product instructions and recommendations.

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

More camping safety tips can be found at: https://www.qld.gov.au/emergency/safety/recreation/camping-safety.

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