(NC)— After the winter we just had, cottage season can't come fast enough. But whether escaping to cottages, cabins or trailers, Canadians are being urged by fire safety officials to start the season by taking stock of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and other safety equipment.
“To enjoy true peace of mind in your piece of heaven, you need to know that your family and guests are safe,” says Carol Heller, a home safety expert at Kidde Canada, the country's leading manufacturer of smoke and CO alarms. “Safety needs to start on Day 1 so you can enjoy an incident-free vacation.”
Follow these summer safety steps:
• Opening day, check the age of your smoke and CO alarms. Immediately replace any that are over 10 years old and replace CO alarms over seven years old, no matter whether they are plug in, hardwired or battery powered.
• Next, make sure there is at least one working smoke alarm on every storey and outside sleeping areas. In Ontario, this is the law.
• If you have a fireplace, woodstove, garage or carport or attached boathouse, or any other gas, oil or propane-fueled devices, install at least one CSA-approved carbon monoxide alarm outside sleeping areas.
• Once alarms are in the right places, check their batteries. The cold can deplete batteries over the winter, so make sure every alarm has fresh power.
• Turn your attention outside. Make sure all vents, ductwork, and exhaust fans are free of debris. And, depending upon your watercraft size and local regulations, you may need a fire extinguisher and CO alarm onboard. Know what's required.
• Lastly, it is extremely important – especially for renters – to know a cottage's exact address and fire emergency numbers. Some cell phone calls to 911 from rural areas can't be pinpointed. So make sure you can give full address information to emergency operators.
More summer fire and carbon monoxide safety tips can be found online at www.safeathome.ca.
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