The British weather is nothing if not unpredictable – and at times may turn downright punishing, such as the recent bank holiday “violent storms” the south east of the country experienced.
As the summer wears on the risks of thunderstorms and lightning strikes are likely to increase and this is a time when your static caravan may be most at risk to loss or damage.
Protecting your static home
At Cover4Caravans, we have published a detailed guide to static homes, including your responsibilities as the owner, particular considerations if you are going to let it to others, and the importance of static caravan insurance.
Our guide contains essential information about your obligations and some general tips on safety, but what specific measures is it prudent to take as a precaution against loss or damage from storms?
- clearly, some static caravan sites are more vulnerable to the effects of storms than others;
- even on a relatively sheltered site, however, there may be trees, bushes or structures which may give you cause for concern because of their proximity to your pitch;
- if that is the case, make sure to put your concerns and reservations in writing to the site management – and your awareness of the potential for problems might count in your favour if you subsequently need to make an insurance claim;
- remember too, the Royal Society for the Protection of Accidents (RoSPA) advice that trees may act as lightning conductors during a thunder storm and, so, pose great danger for anyone sheltering under them;
Your static home
- depending on the site you have chosen your site might insist that your static home is securely anchored – if that is a requirement, you clearly need to make sure that anchor points are secure, and may want to consider the benefits of anchoring your holiday home anyway;
- as any storm approaches, make sure that all windows and doors are securely closed, to prevent damage caused by frames and units rattling about, suggests the National Association of Caravan Owners (NACO);
- for similar reasons, and because they are in probably the most exposed area of the caravan, make sure that skylights are also securely closed;
- aerials and aerial brackets are likely to be similarly exposed and the fittings need to be thoroughly checked;
- because of the danger of any aerial acting as a lightning conductor, you might want to consider taking it down if severe thunder storms are forecast or throughout the winter months when your caravan is not in use;
- other fittings to check – both before and after any stormy weather – are gutters and downpipes, which may need to be re-secured and possibly unblocked;
- outside, in and around your plot, make sure that everything is stable and secure – sheds, outbuildings, gas bottles, decking or verandas, garden furniture and storage boxes;
- these are all structures and items which might not only suffer damage, but from which pieces might be blown off during the storm and impact neighbouring static homes – generating still further insurance claims;
- to help prevent this happening, of course, any loose items need to be put away in a storage shed or box, or brought inside your caravan, whilst you weather the storm.
These are largely straight forward, common sense precautions, but you need to take particular note of any specific measures your insurer requires to be taken – on pain of any claim subsequently being rejected.