TORONTO, May 20, 2010 /Canada NewsWire/ - Summer is a much anticipated time for many Canadians to enjoy the sun by spending more time outside, either at home or at the cottage. The warmer months can also be an opportune time to catch up on home and yard maintenance. Before cleaning out the garage, replacing the BBQ tank, or hitting the road for a camping trip, CSA International is reminding everyone to take a few moments to be proactive about safety.
CSA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SAFETY TIPS
CSA International, a global testing and certification organization, is sharing its summer safety tips with consumers to help them avoid accidents and injuries while they enjoy the summer season.
Gas Grills and Barbecues
- Before firing up the barbecue for the first time, carefully inspect burners and burner tubes for blockages due to dirt, grease, insects or rust build-up. Clean or replace any blocked parts or have a certified technician make repairs.
- Check for cracked, brittle or leaking hoses. To check for leaks, apply a 50/50 solution of soap and water to hoses and fittings and turn on the main gas or propane valve while leaving burners off. Any leaks will show up as bubbles. Replace any damaged hoses or fittings.
- Propane cylinders must be inspected and requalified every 10 years in Canada. A date stamp on the cylinder indicates when it was last qualified. Do not use a rusty or damaged cylinder. If in doubt, have your tank replaced.
- Keep grills and barbecues away from combustible materials such as fences, trees, buildings, awnings and carports. Never use a barbecue in a garage!
- When purchasing or installing a gas barbecue, make sure that it carries the mark of an accredited certification agency such as the CSA International Certification Flame indicating that it meets applicable national standards.
- When installing decorative lighting on patios or along walkways, inspect your lighting to make sure that it is certified and marked for use outdoors. Always turn off the electricity supply before working with outdoor lighting and unplug lights when possible.
- Carefully inspect lights and lamps to make sure there are no broken or cracked sockets or housings and that there are no bare or frayed wires.
- Use a timer to turn lights on and off. Turn lights off during peak summer hours to avoid strain on local electricity resources.
Yard work and Renovations: Before mowing the lawn, pruning the bushes, or building a backyard deck, keep these safety tips on hand:
- Before mowing, take the time to walk the yard to remove objects that may cause an obstruction or be tossed by the rotating blades.
- Children under 12 years of age should never operate a power lawn mower.
- Never clear an obstruction on a running mower! If the mower is electric, turn off the power and unplug the machine. If it is gas, turn off the power and make sure the engine is not running and that all safety features have been activated.
Portable Power Tools
- Inspect all power tools and cords before each use. Never use a power tool that has a cracked casing, loose parts or frayed cords. Ensure all safety guards have been put in place and are in proper working order.
- Use only electric power tools that have either a three-prong plug or double insulation with a heavy enough gauge - or wire size - to handle the electricity load. Use an outlet with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) to protect against electric shock.
- Make sure the tool is turned off before it is plugged in or unplugged. Always turn off and unplug the tool before changing parts such as drill bits or cutting blades.
- Use an extension cord only as a temporary connection. Never link extension cords; instead, use a single cord that is long enough to reach from the outlet to an appliance or tool without stretching. When working outside, only use cords clearly labelled for outdoor use.
- Never run an electrical cord through a doorway or under a carpet. If a cord becomes hot when plugged in, discontinue use immediately and replace with a heavier gauge cord.
Camping: Whether you are at a camp site, cottage or by the lake, remember the following tips for a safer summer expedition:
Camping Stoves and Lanterns
- Fuel-burning camping equipment such as stoves, lanterns and outdoor cookers should only be lighted outdoor, in well-ventilated areas and at least three meters from tents, combustible materials and vehicles. Never light a stove or lantern indoors or in a tent or vehicle! Before use, carefully inspect parts for leaks, blockages or damage
- Keep loose, flammable clothing away from open flames and carefully monitor children and pets around stoves and lanterns. Before packing up equipment, make sure it is completely turned off and cool to the touch.
For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visit www.csasafetytips.com
About CSA International
CSA International is a provider of product testing and certification services for electrical, mechanical, plumbing, gas and a variety of other products. Recognized in the U.S., Canada and around the world, CSA International certification marks appear on billions of products worldwide. CSA International is a division of CSA Group, which also includes CSA Standards, a leading solutions based standards organization, providing standards development, application products, training and advisory services; and OnSpeX, a provider of consumer product evaluation, inspection and advisory services for retailers and manufacturers. For more information, visit www.csa-international.org