Tips for Staying Safe At the Cottage - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Tips for Staying Safe At the Cottage


Many Ontario families will spend this summer making memories by spending time at the family cottage. Cottages handed down from one generation to the next offer time for families and friends to be together enjoying a rustic way of life for a couple of weeks. Whether the cottage you are escaping to is one that you own or one you are renting, staying safe requires a little time and preparation. The following tips will help you to ensure your cottage getaway is a safe and pleasant experience.

Safety begins before you are arrive at the cottage

It is estimated that more than more than 250,000 families make a cottage in Ontario their destination for vacations and holiday getaways. Before packing the car, SUV or minivan for the trip to the cottage, here are a few tips to ensure you get there safely:

  • Check the operation of your vehicles lights and directional signals.
  • Check the tire pressure of all tires, including the spare and refill them to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  • Top off all fluid levels, including windshield washer, brakes, transmission and coolant.
  • Have your vehicle’s brakes, steering and other mechanical systems checked by a mechanic for proper operation.
  • Pack a first-aid kit and flashlight to keep in the vehicle

When loading the vehicle with your suitcases and other items to take to the cottage, do not obstruct the driver’s ability to see to the sides and rear of the vehicle. If loading gear onto the roof of the vehicle, make certain it is properly secured. Highway speeds can play havoc with rooftop cargo that is not properly secured.

Plan your route in advance. If relying upon GPS, program your navigational device before you begin the drive to the cottage. It helps to print a copy of the directions to the cottage if you have not been there before this trip in case your navigation system fails or falters along the way.

Things to check upon arrival at the cottage

Before tackling the interior of the cottage, take a walk around its perimeter while looking for fire and safety hazards. Remove any leaves or brush that has built up within 10 metres of the exterior of the cottage to prevent them from being a fire risk during dry periods.

Inspect exterior wiring and repair any damage caused by storms or that might have been gnawed on by rodents. This is also a good time to go up on the roof and inspect it for damage by rodents and other wildlife. While up there, clear any leaves, branches and other debris from the roof and from the chimney to avoid the risk of a fire.

As you make your way into the cottage check to ensure there is at least one working, fully charged fire extinguisher in the kitchen and in any room with a fireplace. Also check the smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor to make certain they are working. If batteries have not replaced in a while, take the time to replace them now. There should be an alarm outside each sleeping area of the cottage.

Check the operation of the damper on any fireplaces or stoves to ensure safe operation. If you notice a buildup of soot along the wall of the chimney, have it professionally cleaned before using the device to avoid a chimney fire.

Personal injury lawyers in Ontario

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond & Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for  compensation on behalf of victims injured due to the negligence of other parties. If you or a loved one has a claim for compensation, call our 24/7 personal injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to one of our team members. We have offices throughout Ontario to offer free consultations and case evaluations.

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