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Fire safety at the cottage


Your cottage is your refuge; keep it and your family safe
Your cottage is your refuge; keep it and your family safe

Sana Ahmed, staff writer

You've taken steps to protect your family from fire in your home -- but what about your cottage?

This should be the only fire you see at your cottage
This should be the only fire you see at your cottage

It's just as important to have a fire safety plan for your cottage as it is for your home, says Gary Fraser, Deputy Fire Chief of Vaughan Fire and Rescue Services.

Many cottages are decades old and built of wood. Wood dries out over time, and once a fire takes hold of a structure, it can spread rapidly.

However, Fraser says there are several things you can do to make sure your time at the cottage is enjoyable and safe.

First and foremost, make sure you have smoke detectors installed outside your sleeping areas, and when opening up your cottage for the season, check that the detectors are still working properly.

“Over the winter the batteries will go dead,” Fraser explains. “(You) need to check and make sure you have good batteries in these smoke detectors.”

Another good idea is to install a carbon monoxide detector in your cottage. Carbon monoxide is odourless and colourless, and inhaling it for an extended period of time can be fatal.

“(A detector) is very important when you're sleeping, to detect carbon monoxide and get you out of the building,” Fraser says.

Finally, have at least one working fire extinguisher in the cottage, preferably in or near the kitchen.

“Cooking is the most common cause of fire in a structure, so have at least one extinguisher working,” Fraser advises.

Some cottagers may be planning their own personal fireworks show over the long weekend. Fireworks, too, require some safety precautions.

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