Monday, October 15, 2007

Safe Cottage Life Serenade


Preparing For Safe Cottage Life

Cottage living is home away from home to Canadians and life at the cottage boasts campfires, fireworks and hearty eating. In fact, Canadians love their cottages and feel more at home there than anywhere else, according to a 1998 Royal Bank survey.

But as with primary homes, cottages require regular upkeep to protect against hazards, and fire safety is especially a key issue at the cottage. However, owners taking a few simple precautions will go a long way in protecting their family and cottage.

According to the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs (CAFC), first and foremost, it is extremely important that owners maintain fuse boxes, heaters, wiring, stove and other possible heat sources as they would in their primary homes. Test smoke alarms and ensure long-lasting batteries, such as new Advanced Performance DuracellĀ® CopperTopĀ® batteries, are used for protection all summer long.

Fire pits and campfires should be built where the fire will not spread, away from dry grass and leaves and low-hanging trees. Never leave open fires unattended, including barbecues, and supervise kids at all times. Watch out for flying sparks that could set fire to areas close to the cottage and be especially cautious with fireworks around kids.

Around the exterior of the cottage, a basic precaution is to keep grass cut and raked. Dry grass and debris can also collect under open porches, decks and floors, so it is important to keep these areas covered. In addition, stack firewood well away from the cottage.

Keep other highly-flammable objects, like fibreglass boats and canoes, away from the cottage and store them upside down, one meter above ground, either on a clearing or a rock.

By taking these simple precautions, cottage owners will go a long way to ensuring they don't lose their homes away from home to fire.

To learn more about summer fire safety, join Duracell Canada and the CAFC for the Duracell Fire Safety Drive. Starting in June, parents are encouraged to bring their children to participating retail outlets to learn more about the dangers of fire and how to adopt a new and improved fire safety and escape plan for their homes. Visit www.duracell.com/firesafety for details about an event near you.

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