A getaway to the cottage could turn to out to be a tragic one if your cottage isn’t equipped with working fire alarms and a fire-escape plan in place. It is the law in Ontario to have working smoke alarms on every storey of your home, cottage, cabin and seasonal home. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of fire and burn injuries while you are enjoying your time off at the cottage.
Inside Fire Safety Tips
- Learn how your smoke alarms work and test them on a monthly basis or each time you return to the cottage. Change the batteries often and replace the alarm every eight years. If you have a wood stove, fuel heating or an attached garage, install and carbon-monoxide alarm.
- When at the cottage keep in mind that emergency services can sometimes be a great distance away. Develop a fire-escape plan and practice it with family members.
- Keep local emergency numbers and directions to the cottage in a spot where could be safety reached in case of a fire.
- Clean and check your chimney regularly. Maintain fuel burning appliances.
- Properly dispose of ashes from wood burning appliances.
- Don’t leave candles unattended while burning.
- Install fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, boathouse and in the boat. Be sure they are in assessable locations.
Outside Fire Safety Tips
- Store fuel, wood and other combustible materials at least 10 metres away from the cottage.
- Keep roof and rain gutters free of pine needles and dried leaves. Install a screened cap on your chimney.
- Keep a bucket of water or garden hose handy when having a bonfire or burning brush. Always check for local fire bans before you burn and ensure that you always comply with the "Open Air Burning Policy" of your Municipality.
- Keep barbeques clean and never leave them unattended while cooking. Cooking fires are the number one cause of house fires in the province, and often that’s unattended cooking.
- Keep lighters and matches out of reach and sight from children.
- Make sure your address number is clearly visible from the road. If your cottage is only accessible by boat, be sure that your address can be clearly seen from the water.
- If you smoke, smoke outside. Never extinguish cigarettes in vegetation, potted plants or landscaping as they can easily start a fire.
- Drink reasonably and keep an eye out for those who do not.