From the Rideau Lakes to the Thousand Islands to the hills of Gatineau Park, there are many stunning cottage retreats within a short drive of the Ottawa area. Here are ten tips to ensure your summer at the cottage is fun and safe:
- Car Inspection. Before you head off to the cottage, make sure your car is in good working order. Schedule an inspection to check the lights, signals, tire pressure, and fluids. You want to make it to the cottage safely, but you also want to make sure you can get to emergency services quickly if an accident happens.
- Boat Inspection. Before you head out to fish or waterski, make sure the boat is in excellent condition. Inspect the fuel lines and tanks and make sure that all of the required safety equipment is on board.
- Restock First Aid Kit. Your cottage should have a fully stocked first aid kit. Be sure to replace any used items each season, and restock on expired products.
- Clear House Numbers. Many cottages do not have good signage to indicate the house number/address. This makes it difficult for emergency services to find the cottage Make sure your address is clearly posted.
- Extreme Weather. Even gorgeous summer days can be hit with some pretty wicked wind, rain, and thunderstorms. Make sure you are prepared, and each family member knows their role in case extreme weather strikes.
- Water Safety. Children should always be supervised when on the water and should always wear a life vest or other flotation device. Never go in the water after drinking.
- Inspect Smoke Detectors. There should be a smoke detector on each floor of the cottage and near all sleeping areas. Make sure the batteries are fresh and the smoke detectors are in good working order. They should be replaced every ten years.
- Reduce Fire Risk. Clear away dry leaves and debris from the cottage roof and gutters to reduce the risk of fire. Always inspect heating appliances and chimneys before use. Never leave candles unattended. Install carbon monoxide detectors if your cottage has a fuel-burning appliance.
- Fire Safety. Children, pets, and combustibles should be kept far from camp stoves, BBQs, and camp fires. Build your fire carefully and make sure it is contained. Never leave fire Keep a bucket of water or sand nearby to douse a fire if needed. Make sure the fire is completely doused before you leave.
- Speak with Insurance Broker. Talk with your insurance broker to review your coverage for auto insurance, seasonal cottage insurance, and vehicle insurance for your boat, trailer, motor home, or ATV.
Have an enjoyable safe summer relaxing at the cottage!