Staycations are on the rise in the UK, as holiday makers choose to explore the countryside rather than hopping on a plane, according to statistics compiled by the National Caravan Council (NCC), more than 50 million nights are spent in a caravan in the UK each year – whether in the country’s 365,000 static and holiday homes, the 550,000 touring caravans or 225,000 motorhomes.
With more and more people visiting caravan parks every year, It's become more important than ever to ensure that your site is safe for all visitors. Caravanning is a particularly popular past time for retirees and the elderly.
Not only does it allow people to enjoy a bit of sunshine, it's becoming a viable permanent downsizing option for homeowners looking to save money. With more people visiting caravan sites than ever, parks need to make sure that their sites are safe for visitors of all levels of mobility.
When choosing the ideal site, over a third of campers consider onsite facilities to be the biggest deciding factor. From communal shower areas to onsite entertainment, the quality of your site's facilities can be the difference between a booking or being passed by.
1. Perform risk assessments
A risk assessment is nothing more than a careful examination of what on the site could cause harm to yourself, your employees, and others such as visitors and residents.
You can then weigh up whether sufficient precautions have been taken to prevent harm and identify any additional measures which may be necessary. Regular risk assessments give you the perfect opportunity to review your entire site for potential hazards.
2. Update caravans
Anti-slip sheeting and panels can be retro-fitted to wooden steps and walkways, providing long term safety benefits due to its durability and natural resistance to corrosion. We recommend glass-reinforced plastic (GRP). This robust and grippy material is idea is a low-maintenance and versatile solution can provide your static caravan decking with years of extra life.
3. Ensure safe access
In a typical year, slips and trips account for over 33% of all reported major injuries at camp sites. There is rarely a single cause of a slipping accident, and a holistic approach is required when assessing risk and securing sites.
High quality onsite facilities have safe and reliable walkways and flooring. Shower areas need to be safe and non-slip to protect your visitors, while outdoor boardwalks and pathways need to resist weather 365 days a year.
Enabling access to facilities and attractions is essential if you cater for people of all ages. Outdoor ramps and steps should be regularly maintained and inspected to ensure safe passage.
Suitable for both internal and external premises, anti-slip flooring is perfect for both medium and heavy foot traffic in the most hazardous weather. Resin flooring in shower areas provides a water-tight and safe surface for visitors to use your facilities. Resin flooring is also easy to clean and repair, making your regular maintenance much easier.
4. Use signage
Keep safety at the forefront of people's minds by using signs. With awareness of potential hazards, visitors will be more mindful and vigilant for accidents. This will help keep them from suffering an accident.
5. Perform regular general maintenance
Many caravan parks make a feature of the fishing facilities and lakeside walks. In order to allow wheelchair users, the elderly and the visually impaired to enjoy these facilities too, you need to make sure they have access too.
Caravan sites try to preserve a natural look and feel by using materials such as wood and stone in their walkways, observation platforms and caravan decking. While visually fetching, they can present a hazard to the elderly and less physically able. Strips of anti-slip panels or tape can be coloured to blend in to the natural features, allowing you to maintain your visual appeal without compromising on safety.
If you're setting up a site, remember the basics. Each pitch should be no more than 90m (300ft) from a drinking water tap, and each tap must have a soak-away or gully. The number of toilets that have to be supplied depends on the number of pitches and there must be a properly designed disposal point for caravanners’ own chemical closets.
6. Exercise good gas safety
Gas cylinders are common sights on caravan parks. Propane is ideal for outside storage and therefore used to supply residential park-homes and caravan holiday-homes. Ensure that all gas cylinders are securely stored safely away from visitors where possible. Encourage visitors to not store their gas bottles under their mobile homes or caravans, instead keeping them on level ground, away from heat sources.
These are just a few quick tips for creating a secure and safe site for visitors. Maintenance of outdoor areas can be an expensive and time-consuming task for camp sites. But it is necessary, because accidents that occur on your site don't just cost compensation claims - they could impact your reputation and your future business.