It is an annual ritual performed by many Canadians each year. Opening the cottage signals the beginning of yet another summer of family fun, rest and relaxation. Minimize risks by taking the time to do it right!
Check Your Electrical Service
Do a visual inspection of the power lines leading into your cottage. If there is any damage or tree limbs on the wires report it to the local utility and have it repaired or corrected before turning the service on in your cottage. Inspect the condition of the wiring inside and out. Mice and other rodents can damage it during the winter months. Have an electrician repair any damage.
Check The Appliances
Underserviced or poorly maintained propane appliances such as stoves, refrigerators and heaters can be dangerous. After sitting dormant for the winter months, have them inspected and serviced by a qualified technician before using them. Consider replacing old appliances with new ones that include safety features.
Install smoke alarms just as you would at home and test them to ensure they work. Install carbon monoxide alarms just as you would at home. If you have smoke and CO alarms, replace the batteries to start the season. Make sure you have a fully charged fire extinguisher located in a highly visible spot. Ensure everyone knows how to use it.
Clean up rubbish, leaves and branches outside to reduce the risk of fire. Dispose of old cleaning solvents and fuels, such as gasoline, kerosene and naphtha, at a hazardous waste distribution centre. They are no longer useable but still represent a considerable fire risk. If you have an approved fire pit outside for campfires, clean it up and cut back any branches or brush that may have grown too close.