June 13, 2014 5:29 pm
Updated: June 14, 2014 12:20 pm

Four safety tips for your cottage vacations

Watch video: Why checking your CO alarm is important. Carey Marsden reports. 

TORONTO – As the mercury rises throughout June, thousands of people will make the weekly trek north to cottage country.

But experts say, they can sometimes forget about much-needed safety precautions as they relax on their docks, in their cottages or in their boats.

Here are some tips to keep you safe this summer:

1. You need CO alarms in more places than you think

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Most people will have a smoke and CO alarm in their home and maybe even their cottage.

But you need one everywhere there is a fuel-fired cooking or heating appliance, Ontario’s fire marshal said.

“It’s still the law to have working smoke alarms and CO alarms wherever they go, that includes things like their cottages, RVs, boats where you might have cooking facilities, pop up tents,” Ted Wieclawek said.

2. Get your fuel-fired appliances checked

A CO alarm will go a long way toward preventing carbon-monoxide poisoning but people should be proactive and get their fuel-fired appliances checked by certified technicians.

3. Consider upgrading the cottage

A lot of cottages were passed down from parents or grandparents and may be in dire need of an upgrade.

“A lot of times cottage have been in the family for years and they might not have been maintained as well. They might not have been built to the current building code so maybe some of the fire protection wasn’t built into the cottage when it was built,” Diane Kyle, a fire prevention officer with Severn Township Emergency Services said.

4. Have a fire safety plan

One of the attractive characteristics of many cottages is their privacy from the chaos of the city.

But there are also disadvantages inherent in that privacy.

Many cottages can be difficult to get to and may only protected by volunteer fire services which can be slower to respond.

“Cottages are usually far down a lane way or something like that,” she said. “It’s important that you practice fire safety within the cottage the same as you would at home.”

Make sure your house number is visible from the road and clear your path of any debris that may slow down oncoming vehicles.

- With files from Carey Marsden

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