GBA - Summer 2019

8 ≥ GBA UPDATE Summer 2019 BOATING, SAFETY AND EMERGENCIES COMMITTEE L ast summer’s tinder-dry conditions in Georgian Bay, along with the Key River fire, have brought fire risk into sharp focus for GBA members. We conducted a survey with member associations to find out what everyone is doing to respond to fires so we can learn from each other. Before we consider how best to respond to fires already underway, it’s a good reminder that it’s easier to prevent a fire in the first place. According to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), 90% of wildfires within 3 km of human habitation are caused by humans. Please review the following tips to reduce the risk of a fire starting either inside or outside your cottage here: . In addition, check out the Home Owners FireSmart Manual from the Ontario MNRF. It will help you assess your cottage’s wildfire risk. Download it here: Despite your best prevention efforts, there is still a chance that a fire will threaten your cottage. And if it does, remember that with fires come heightened risks and many unknowns – electricity and propane to name just two. If you decide to fight a fire, use extreme care. Always put personal safety over property. With that in mind, here are a few things you should be doing as a cottage owner. Fire detectors Make sure that you have smoke/carbon monoxide detectors in your kitchen (single biggest cause for concern), outside every bedroom, and on every floor. Change the batteries yearly and the detectors every 10 years. Test the detectors monthly. Fire extinguishers ≥ Fire extinguishers are your key to early containment. Have them in the kitchen, near a fireplace and anywhere else a fire might break out. ≥ Keep one near the most likely exit door to aid in evacuation. ≥ Different extinguishers fight different fires. ABC-rated extinguishers are appropriate for paper, wood, trash, liquids, small grease and electrical fires. ≥ Always check that they are fully charged and operational. ≥ Always have an escape route and always be aware of what’s behind you. ≥ Discuss your needs with your retailer and read the manufacturer’s operating instructions. Understanding Fire Extinguishers Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Have an Escape Plan ≥ Your first priority is to get everyone out of danger. ≥ Always have two routes of escape. ≥ Designate a safe meeting place – perhaps a dock where you’re visible to first responders. ≥ Keep keys/cell phones handy so you can find them in an emergency. ≥ Post your cottage location, GPS coordinates and municipal address in an easy-to-see location. ≥ Program emergency numbers into your family’s phones. ≥ Make sure every bedroom has a working flashlight. ≥ Obtain hanging escape ladders for second-floor bedrooms. ≥ Make sure everyone knows where the extinguishers are and how to use them. South of the French River? Call 911 ≥ Fires at a cottage or on uninhabited land are emergencies – call 911 even if there is no municipal fire response in your area. The operator will coordinate resources from multiple agencies, if available. In addition to the above, call the numbers your association has recommended. Hot Tips on Responding to Fires 90% of wildfires within 3 km of human habitation are caused by humans “ “ By Boating, Safety and Emergencies Committee Source: Free Icons Library