Make Fire Safety Part Of Your Cottage Routine
You wouldn’t head out for a day of boating without checking the gas tank, or a day’s fishing without checking the life jackets. So why do so many families spend a weekend, a week or the entire summer at a cottage without checking their smoke alarms?
Fire departments and safety experts urge cottagers to take the same approach to fire and carbon monoxide safety while holidaying as they do at home.
“Cottage living is supposed to be carefree, but you shouldn’t kick back until you’re certain your family is safe,” says Carol Heller, a home safety expert at Kidde Canada, the country’s leading manufacturer of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. “It doesn’t matter whether you spend the lazy days of summer in a swanky summer home, a rustic cottage or a trailer. If your smoke and CO alarms are old, or not fully powered, your family is at risk.”
Heller offers these important summer safety tips:
• On day one, check the age of your smoke and CO alarms. Immediately replace any smoke alarm over 10 years old and any CO alarm over seven years old – whether plug in, hardwired or battery powered.
• Install fresh batteries in all alarms. This is especially important if you close up the property for winter, as cold weather drains batteries.
• Power outages are frequent in cottage country so if your alarms are hardwired, make sure they have battery backup. If they don’t, replace them with newer models, or, an easy solution is to install a new battery powered smoke alarm on every storey and outside bedrooms.
• If you have a wood or gas fireplace; a woodstove; an attached garage, carport or boathouse; a water heater or generator or furnace or any other gas or propane-fueled devices, install at least one CSA-approved carbon monoxide alarm outside sleeping areas.
• Know your cottage’s exact address. Some calls to 911 can’t be pinpointed if made from a cell phone. Help 911 operators know which fire station to summon.
Enjoy peace of mind in your piece of heaven. Additional fire and carbon monoxide safety tips can be found online at www.safeathome.ca.