Spring is here and Victoria Day is on its way – it is time to get outdoors and enjoy the warmer weather. Whether you are opening up your cottage or bringing your backyard back to life, Vaughan Fire and Rescue Service (VFRS) reminds you to follow these safety tips when it comes to common fire hazards.
If you are pulling out your barbecue for the first time this year, make sure you thoroughly clean and inspect it. Here are a few tips when setting up your barbecue this spring:
- Use a pipe cleaner or wire to remove any obstructions, such as rust, dirt or cobwebs, from the burner ports.
- Check that the hose and all cylinder connections are in good condition. Never use a match or lighter to check for leaks. Brush or spray a mixture of 50 per cent soap and 50 per cent water onto all hoses and connections and look for bubbly soapy water. Replace, repair or tighten any connections until the bubbles are gone.
- Clean out grease traps and keep grill areas clean.
- Place your barbecue in a safe area away from combustibles, buildings and fences. Radiating heat from a barbecue can damage siding.
Residents are responsible for what happens to a firework before and after it is lit. The City of Vaughan has a fireworks by-law that allows family fireworks on Victoria Day and Canada Day only. For displays on other days, residents must apply for a permit. Residents are encouraged to attend public fireworks displays hosted by a responsible organization.
- Fireworks should not be lit close to combustible materials like buildings, forested areas and dry grass, or if there are strong winds.
- Carefully read and follow the label directions on fireworks packaging.
- Always keep a water hose or pail of water close by.
- Light only one firework at a time and only when they are on the ground. Never try to light a firework in your hand or re-light a dud.
OPEN FLAME SAFETY
Whether it’s a candle, tiki torch or chiminea, open flames can be unpredictable and must be handled with care.
- Never leave an open flame unattended, and always put it out when leaving the area and before going to bed.
- Use a heat-resistant holder and place it on a stable surface away from flammable objects.
- Keep all fire-starting materials out of the sight and reach of children.
- Get a permit from VFRS before any open-air burning.
COTTAGE FIRE SAFETY
Remember to add fire safety and prevention to your cottage plans.
- Install smoke alarms on every storey and outside all sleeping areas of cottages, cabins and seasonal homes.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms outside all sleeping areas if your cottage or cabin has a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke and carbon monoxide alarm and extra batteries in case they need replacing.
- Know the telephone number for the local fire department and your cottage’s emergency sign number.
For more information on fire safety, please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 905-832-2281, weekdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., or visit vaughan.ca/fire.