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Now is the time when seasonal residents head to the country to "open" the cottage. Here are some important tips:
Check the following when Opening your Cottage:
- Before you turn on the electricity, check all overhead lines and make sure they haven’t been damaged over the winter. Stay clear of damaged lines, and contact your supplier for repairs.
- Check all wiring in and around the cottage- especially the stuff running exterior equipment (water pumps, lighting etc.) If wires are damaged remove the associated fuse or turn off the circuit breaker- then contact a licensed electrical contractor or electrician to arrange for repairs.
- Ensure all appliances are turned off and clear of debris (i.e. base board heaters and stove tops) prior to starting them up.
- Ensure the water tank is full prior to starting it.
- Check all chimneys (for bird’s nests, etc.) to make sure they’re clean before you start up the fire or the furnace.
- All electrical circuits should be in the off position when the main switch is turned on. Circuits should be energized one at a time after you start the main switch.
- Check all smoke detectors and make sure they’re in working order. Ontario law requires a working smoke alarm on every floor of your cottage. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector is a good idea, too.
- Make sure you have the essential first aid items on hand.
- Review water safety.
- Clear any brush or debris that might obscure the signs or Emergency Numbers at the end of your laneway. Your location needs to be clearly visible, in the event of an emergency.
- Always have a working fire extinguisher available, especially when performing any work at the cottage that involves open flame.
- Check with your Municipality about their “Open Air Burning Policy" before you light a campfire.
- Post the phone numbers for the local fire department.
- It’s a good idea to unplug all of your electrical appliances before you leave the cottage. So, when you open the cottage, you’ll have to plug them back in!
- Use caution with candles or open flames, particularly during power interruptions when the lights come back on, immediately extinguish candles.
- Don’t store your propane indoors. BBQ safety should be reviewed.
- Never use a fuel fired space heater inside a tent or small confined space.
- If a fire incident occurs, have someone go to the road to direct emergency crews.
- Keep individual driveways clear of obstructions so emergency vehicles can get in easily.
- Keep waterways accessible for firefighting purposes.
- Have a "Fire Escape Plan".
- Don’t allow smoking in bedrooms and insist on using ashtrays or ashcans outdoors.