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Summer safety checklist for cottage season

(NC) Whether you plan a summer escape to a cottage, cabin or trailer, fire safety officials are urging all Canadians to start the season with a thorough check of smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Help ensure an incident-free vacation by following this checklist:

? On opening day, check the age of your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. Immediately replace any smoke alarm over 10 years old and any CO alarm over 7 to 10 years old, depending on the brand. This applies whether an alarm is plug-in, hardwired or battery-powered.

? Make sure there is at least one working smoke alarm on every level and outside sleeping areas.

? Check all alarm batteries. The cold can deplete them over the winter, so make sure every alarm has fresh power.

? Install at least one carbon monoxide alarm outside all sleeping areas if you have a woodstove or gas, oil or propane fireplace, furnace or appliance. Same goes if you have an attached garage or carport.

? If you need to replace outdated alarms, look for new ¡°worry-free¡± models that feature 10-year sealed lithium batteries, like those by Kidde, the country's leading manufacturer of smoke and CO alarms. These batteries never need to be replaced for the entire life of the alarm.