According to the Parry Sound Fire Department, an established fire doubles every 4–8 seconds, and can be out of control in just minutes. As such, the time to prepare is now. Please review the following fire prevention, planning and practice suggestions with those using your cottage.
Have a fire escape plan, and choose a rallying point outside your cottage. Post the list of BNIA Emergency Contacts so that anyone using your cottage knows who to contact for help. The Township of the Archipelago does not provide fire protection services. See next point.
If you have a fire pump, let your neighbours know. If you don’t have one, consider buying one. Jointly work out a plan with your neighbours on how you will help each other in the event of an emergency.
Ensure that your pump is fully gassed, easily accessible, close to the water, and has its hoses and nozzles ready to go. Roll hoses to allow free and rapid deployment (nozzle / male end out). Regularly start the pump to ensure it is working properly, and have those using your property practice using it.
Position the BBQ away from combustible materials. Keep it clean and serviced. Before using the grill, check the connection between the propane tank and fuel line for leaks and damage. Never leave a lit grill unattended. Periodically remove grease build-up in catch trays to prevent it from igniting. Keep a garden hose with an attached nozzle connected and ready for use.
Post detectors on every storey, in the kitchen and outside all bedrooms. Test alarms monthly, change the batteries yearly, and replace the units every 10 years.
Have a fire extinguisher, ensure that it is serviced and inspected regularly, and know how to use it. ABC-rated extinguishers are appropriate for paper, wood, trash, liquids, small grease and electrical fires. Remember the “PASS” technique: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep back and forth to put out the fire.
After cooking, double-check that the elements and oven are off before leaving the kitchen. In case of fire, do not turn on overhead fan as it can cause the fire to grow. For a grease fire, don’t use water. Use a lid to cover the pan and smother the flames. For shallow grease fires, use baking soda. If a fire starts in the microwave, leave the door closed and unplug the unit.
Establish a safe smoking area outside. Use a sand- or water-filled can for ashes and butts. Double-check that cigarettes and ashes are out completely before walking away.
Check appliances for worn or frayed cords, replacing and discarding damaged cords. Avoid counterfeit electrical products as they can overheat or short circuit. Don’t overload extension cords and wall sockets. Don’t run cords under rugs or carpeting. Turn off portable space heaters when you’re away from the cottage or going to bed.
Inspect and clean on a regular basis. Use a fireplace screen heavy enough to withstand rolling logs and large enough to catch flying sparks. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the building or going to bed. Store cooled ashes in a sealed metal container outside the cottage. Never leave a fire unattended.
Never leave a burning candle unattended. When outdoors, keep candles covered in a sturdy container away from wind and burnable objects.
Get low and get out. Leave your belongings. Stop, drop and roll if your clothes are on fire. Never re-enter a burning building. Focus efforts on saving the property, trees and accessory buildings, not the burning building. Direct fire-fighting efforts to surrounding ground and trees to avoid spread.
Humans cause more than half of all wildland fires in Canada. And all it takes is a spark. Please consider and share the following campfire safety tips with family, friends and tenants, remembering that you are your only fire department.
Check and follow open air burning restrictions posted here and on road signage in Pointe au Baril and on Hwy 529A near the Bayfield Transfer Station.
Even if the fire rating allows for open fires, never build a campfire when the weather is windy as sparks carry easily to surrounding brush and trees.
Choose an open area, ensuring that it and nearby crevices are clear of brush, leaves, needles and grass. Ideally, build campfires in fire pits.
Keep campfires to a manageable size of no more than 1 metre (3 feet) high by 1 metre (3 feet) in diameter.
Use kindling rather than flammable liquids to start a fire. Keep all combustible materials, including extra wood, at least 5 metres (15 feet) away from the campfire.
Never leave a campfire unattended. Ensure that a responsible adult is monitoring the campfire at all times.
Keep plenty of water and a shovel nearby to douse the fire. Once water has been applied, stir the wet ashes and douse again with water, ensuring that there is no life left in the flames and that the ground including nearby crevices is cool and moist.
Have a list on hand of Emergency Responders and neighbours to contact for help or additional fire pumps. Do not call 911 and do not call the Township of the Archipelago, as they do not provide fire protection services.
Climate change experts continue to predict hotter, drier summers in our area, increasing fire outbreak risk. Further, the geography and abundance of vegetation in Bayfield-Nares increases our risk of rapidly spreading fire.
Check and ensure that you and your guests follow the open air burning restrictions posted online here, and on road signage in Pointe au Baril, and on Hwy 529A near the Bayfield Transfer Station. Under conditions where open fires are permitted, they may be started after 6 pm and must be extinguished before 2 am.
When the rating is high, fires for cooking and warmth are provided for campers only. When the rating is high, open burning is prohibited for cottagers with access to contained fuel burning cooking appliances or means to escape the cold.
Fireworks are permitted from 6 pm to 11 pm on Victoria Day, Canada Day, Independence Day (US), and one day before and after each of these days. Even on these days, fireworks are prohibited if the rating is high or extreme. All other days of the year, fireworks are prohibited. The use of sky lanterns and firecrackers is prohibited at all times. For complete regulations, see By-law 2017-21 or contact the Township of the Archipelago By-law department at 705-746-4243 Ext. 325.