Many campsites and caravan parks offer a wider range of facilities than simply a pitch, including outdoor seating and dining areas, social events, and activities such as fishing and canoeing. It is important that a site’s grounds are properly maintained and supervised so that, for example, broken glass is cleared away as quickly as possible. Damaged paving stones and tiling, exposed concrete, potholes and uneven surfaces can cause cuts and falls, while trailing electric cables in publicly accessible areas are easy to trip over, especially at night. Electric sockets must also be regularly inspected and kept in good working order to prevent the risk of shocks and burn injuries. This also applies to electric appliances provided in rented caravans.
All sorts of equipment that is available for guests to hire, such as cooking utensils and sports gear must be in good condition and safe to use. Shower and toilet facilities should be cleaned routinely, with floor surfaces properly dried to prevent slipping accidents. Cooking and washing up areas must be subject to a similarly efficient system of inspection and maintenance. Site installations like shower units, sinks, lockers and plumbing systems need inspecting regularly to prevent defects developing due to wear and tear. The same applies to rented caravan facilities such as stoves, fridges, microwaves, kettles and similar amenities.
Swimming pools are another common feature of modern campsites and caravan parks, and site owners need to make sure that they are safe for visitors to use, including the structure, surfaces and chemicals used to maintain hygiene. Swimming activities need to be supervised by qualified lifeguards, and safety rules should be clearly displayed around the pool area. Similar safety measures need to be in place for other outdoor activities like hiking and watersports, as well as in children’s play areas. Owners of sites in rural areas must also ensure guests are protected from neighbouring farm vehicles and livestock by installing effective gates and fencing to prevent access to and from off-site land.
Campsite and caravan park owners owe their visitors a duty of care under the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957, and must provide them with a safe environment as far as reasonably possible. This includes making sure that sites are not overbooked and overcrowded. If a guest is injured through no fault of their own, but rather due to the negligence of an outdoor holiday site’s staff or owners, the injured guest will be able to claim personal injury compensation, which will be paid out under the terms of the public liability insurance policy that campsite and caravan park owners are obliged to hold.