The summer is finally (unofficially) here! The Victoria Day long weekend kicks off the festivities for Canadians eager to break for the outdoors and explore.
It’s time to load up the minivan, hit the highway, open up the cottage and put the boat in the water. While these are all popular items on a May two-four weekend checklist, understandably we all tend to get a bit overanxious with the anticipated enjoyment that lies ahead.
It is important to take all safety precautions ahead of time to avoid serious personal injury and make sure you can have a safe and fun weekend. From the car, to the cottage, to the boat, to the entertainment, here’s how to help protect yourself and your family from accidents and injuries this long weekend.
- Driving Safety
All major roads heading out of the city are usually jammed on the Friday of a long weekend. The best approach is to plan ahead for this, and build into your schedule enough time to comfortably arrive at your destination without the stress of a rushed drive.
- Keep a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you
- Maintain the speed limit
- Pack snacks and refreshments for your crew
- Have a plan to change drivers to avoid fatigue
- Map out potential resting areas along the highway
- Ensure your car is in good working order
- Boating safety
It is a different world out on the water and sometimes people overestimate their knowledge of operating a boat and find themselves in dangerous situations.
- Rule #1: wear your lifejacket and make sure there enough personal floatation devices on board for everyone
- Have your boating license on you
- Be prepared and have everything you need, including lifejackets, whistle, flashlight, bailer, paddle, rope
- Make sure you know the lakes and where markers for rocks are
- Keep a jerrycan of extra gas
- Make sure your boat is in good working order (especially after hibernation from the winter)
- Have a cell phone with you in case of emergency
- Check the weather forecast before heading out
- Cottage Opening Safety
Cottages that haven’t been used all winter could have felt the harsh wrath of Mother Nature. Before you get to enjoy the summer cottage, here’s a quick checklist to review:
- Inspect your hydro meter and any power lines for damage
- Inspect visible wiring to outdoor lighting fixtures, water pumps and other equipment
- Check your water tank and watch for any leaks in the valves
- Check for any damage to phone lines, the chimney, the deck, the dock, windows, screens, and under the cottage at the posts, pads, and beams.
- Be careful with the terrain, especially around the deck and docks that might be slippery from the winter
- Watch for loose branches or anything that might be hazardous
- Fireworks Safety
After everything has been put away and the place looks immaculate, it’s time to celebrate by igniting some colour and sparkle in the night’s sky. Here’s how to produce a safe and awesome fireworks display for friends and family.
- Fireworks may only be used without a permit on designated holidays (such as Victoria Day)
- Keep out of reach from children
- Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away
- If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it
- Never throw fireworks or point them at other people
- Make sure you’re in an open area where trees or branches will not be in the way
If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, contact us for a free consultation.