Written by the CSA Group
It’s time to head outdoors for activities not requiring gloves, snowsuits and toques! Whether you’re fleeing the city for cabins, cottages or campgrounds, or kicking back at home, here are some tips for playing it safe all season long:
1. Step away from the tent. Fuel-burning camping equipment such as stoves, lanterns and outdoor cookers should only be lit outdoors and should be at least three metres from tents, combustible materials and vehicles. Before use, carefully inspect parts for leaks, blockages or damage.
2. Fresh air. Never light a stove or lantern indoors, in a tent or in a vehicle, and never use a barbecue in a garage! Ever. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, fuel-burning equipment should only be used in well-ventilated areas.
3. Hot is not cool. Keep loose, flammable clothing away from open flames and carefully monitor children and pets around stoves and lanterns. Before packing up equipment, make sure it is completely turned off and cool to the touch.
4. Water-wise. Always wear a personal flotation device and never consume alcohol or intoxicants before or while operating a watercraft - or any vehicle.
5. Be alarmed. Ensure that certified carbon monoxide and smoke alarms are tested and properly installed outside all sleeping areas of your cabin, cottage or boat.
6. Those wascally wodents. When opening your cabin, cottage or rustic retreat for the season, carefully inspect all appliances and wiring for damage from rodents or insects.
7. Just in case. Ensure boats, cabins and cottages are equipped with proper safety equipment in the event of an emergency, including First-Aid kits and fire extinguishers.
8. Make a clean start. Before firing up the grill for the first time this season, carefully inspect burners and burner tubes for blockages due to dirt, grease, insects, nests or rust build-up. Clean or replace any blocked parts or have a certified technician make repairs. And remember: propane tanks must be inspected and re-qualified every 10 years in Canada. A date stamp on the cylinder indicates when it was last qualified. If yours has passed its best-before date, recycle it properly.
9. Blowing bubbles. To make sure there are no gas leaks, rub a 50/50 solution of soap and water onto the gas hose, fittings and connections and turn the gas on at the tank but not the burners. Any leaks will produce bubbles. Tighten the fittings if required and replace any damaged hoses or fittings.
10. Tanks a lot! When purchasing or installing a gas barbecue, make sure that it carries the appropriate accreditation mark, such as the CSA Group Certification Star Mark, indicating that it meets applicable national standards.
CSA Group has a lot more tips to help protect Canadians. For more information, visit csagroup.org.