Depending on what part of Canada you live in, a cottage can be called other names such as a cabin or camp. Some people refer to it as their seasonal home in the summer.
What name you use doesn’t really matter. However, practising fire safety does matter—and in most cases it can mean the difference between life and death!
A few years ago, I had a conversion with a firefighter from another community who responded to a late-night cottage (cabin) fire on an island.
Long story short, the lone occupant barely made it out of the cottage. Fortunately, the person escaped out of a window.
To minimize the risk of fire or burn injuries, here are some basic recommended fire safety tips:
•Smoke alarm your cottage (cabin), as well as all other sleeping buildings (commonly referred to as sleeping cabins), by installing working smoke alarms on every level and outside all sleeping areas.
For added protection, install working smoke alarms inside all bedrooms.
•Test your smoke alarms at least monthly or each time you return to your cottage. Pack a new smoke alarm and extra smoke alarm batteries.
Smoke alarms that already are installed may need new batteries.
•Install and ensure carbon monoxide alarms are in your cottage if it has a fuel-burning device.
•Develop and practise a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if your smoke alarms sound.
•If you must use candles, burn them in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. Snuff out your candles if you are leaving the room or going to bed!
•Know all emergency telephone numbers for your local area and your cottages emergency (fire) number in case of an emergency.
Surprisingly, many people do not know their emergency (fire) number as not all communities have 9-1-1.
Those that do have the 9-1-1 system do not know the alternate number to call should the 9-1-1 system not be working!
We, as Canadians, need to take responsibility for our health and safety now, and take care of what we have!
Tyler J. Moffitt is a volunteer firefighter and emergency responder, as well as a continuous improvement advocate.
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