Smart ways to keep your cottage safe

Cottages are a haven where you can relax, unwind and recharge — your home away from the city to run off to on weekends and during the summer months. But like your home, there is maintenance required to ensure everything is in proper working order to keep the place beautiful and safe.

Electrical safety. Whether it’s an electrical outlet in the boathouse or bathroom, water and electricity don’t mix. To avoid a potential electrical hazard or risk of shock, ensure you have ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) for all outlets that supply power to outdoor appliances and tools, especially near water. For outdoor outlets exposed to the elements, a cover plate marked “Extra Duty” will keep water and debris out and help prevent electrical shocks. When thinking about your kitchen and bathroom, GFCI protection is also required for outlets located within 1.5 metres from a sink.

Summer weather. Weather can be unpredictable, and at the cottage it’s important to have both ceiling fans and heaters installed properly. Ceiling fans add a breezy feel during the hot and sticky summer nights and require a specific junction box when being installed. This provides additional support so the fan is secure. To keep warm on those chilly nights, make sure the furnace or baseboard heaters are properly installed by a licensed electrical contractor. When using a space heater, ensure that it’s placed away from other objects since they can present a fire hazard if left unattended.

Hire the right expert. Working with the right professional will ensure your cottage is an enjoyable and safe retreat. If you’re hiring someone to do electrical work, they must be a licensed electrical contractor. They understand the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, are licensed by the Electrical Safety Authority of Ontario, and can ensure all electrical components are considered. Find or verify a contractor near you.

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