The Belleville Fire Department has put out a list of safety tips for cottage owners as many get set to open their summer homes for the season this weekend.
The fire prevention office release notes that cottages and seasonal properties tend to have some problems that can arise over the winter, like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that stop working and blocked chimneys.
Cottage-owners are being reminded to take extra batteries out with them , as well as new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, in case old ones do need to be replaced.
Those tips are as follows:
- Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of homes, cottages, cabins and seasonal homes.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your home, cottage or cabin has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace, or attached garage.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least monthly, or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and extra batteries in case they need replacing.
- Develop and practice a home escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
- Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency number, in case of emergency.
- Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets, are kept well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left unattended.
- Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
- Remember to bring a flashlight with extra batteries.
- Inspect heating appliances and chimneys before using them.
- Check with your local fire department or municipality to determine whether open air burning is permitted before having a campfire or burning brush. IF open burning is allowed, fires should be built on bare soil or on exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep it from spreading. always keep a bucket of water or sand and a shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.
- If you must smoke, do it outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded.
- If you drink, do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
- Burn candles in sturdy candle holders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!