Summer is finally here! With the warmest and longest days of the year, summer provides many opportunities for fun and recreation. Whether you are planning a camping trip or a day at the cottage, a few simple safety precautions can help you and your family stay safe this season.
Just like your home, your cottage or cabin must have working smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas. It must also have a working carbon monoxide alarm outside the sleeping areas. Prepare and practise an escape plan for your summer home.
- Clear brush and debris from around the structure. Make sure the roof is clean and there are no overhanging branches.
- Have all chimneys cleaned and inspected every ear. Heating systems should be inspected annually by a qualified service technician.
- Check with the local municipal office or Ministry of Natural Resources for burning restrictions, bylaws or fire bans.
- Make sure the entrance to the property has a clearly visible sign indicating the property number.
Campfires are the leading cause of preventable wildfires and destroy an average of 200,000 hectares of forested land each year in Ontario.
- Before starting a fire, ensure that open-air fires are permitted at the campsite. Note: Open-air burning is not permitted in most Durham municipalities.
- Build campfires on bare soil or exposed rock, well sheltered from the wind. Keep a pail of water and a shovel on hand to control the fire.
- Douse campfires with water and stir the ashes with a stick or shovel to allow the water to soak in and cool the ashes and ground.
- Campfires should never be left unattended and must be thoroughly extinguished before leaving the site.
Fire in the grill, under hot dogs and burgers, is a welcome sight at a family cookout. But fire anywhere else can make your summer barbecue memorable for all the wrong reasons.
- At the start of the season, make sure the burner ports are free of rust or dirt and that the burner’s orifice is clear of dust and cobwebs.
- Check cylinder connections and hoses for leaks by brushing a 50/50 mix of liquid soap and water onto all connections and hoses. Rising bubbles when you turn on the valve indicate a leak. Tighten connections or repair the hose until there are no bubbles.
- When lighting the grill, always have the lid open. Open the valve at the cylinder, then turn on the barbecue controls and light the burner using the igniter button. If there is no igniter, insert the flame from a long match or barbecue lighter through the side burner hole. Light the match before you turn on the gas at the grill controls.
- Never use or store a barbecue indoors or in any enclosed space, including a garage.
- Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the safe use of your barbecue.