TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ - The first long weekend of the summer is nearly
here, and that means many Canadians are gearing up for outdoor activities like
barbecuing, home and garden work and camping and boating.
While having fun in the sun, CSA International, a leading certification
and testing organization, offers up some sizzling summer tips to remind
everyone to be proactive with safety and to enjoy a happy and healthy summer
CSA INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SAFETY TIPS
I. YARD WORK AND RENOVATIONS: Whether you are pruning the bushes, mowing
the lawn or building a backyard deck, remember these safety tips:
- Safety 101
- The mark's the spot. Always ensure that electric lawn mowers,
barbecues, power tools, ladders, decorative lights, extension
cords, safety apparel and other products carry the mark of an
approved certification organization such as CSA International.
This mark indicates that they have been tested to the
applicable, recognized standard.
- Let the manual guide you. Read the manufacturer's operating
instructions and use products or appliances only as intended.
- Guard yourself with gear. Protect yourself by wearing certified
protective eye and footwear. Hearing protection should be worn
when operating loud machinery, vehicles or tools.
- Lawn Mowers
- Look before you mow. Before mowing, take the time to walk the
yard to remove objects that may cause an obstruction or be
tossed by the rotating blades.
- Avoid disaster, power down. 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.
- 12 is the limit: Children under 12 years of age should never
operate a power lawn mower.
- Portable Power Tools
- The once-over. 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 are in place
and in proper working order.
- Power check. 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.
- Three-pronged solution. 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 to
protect against electric shock.
- Extension Cords
- Cord discord. Check extension cords for wear and damage before
use. Discard any cords that are frayed or have damaged
- One moment in time. Use an extension cord only as a temporary
- A single 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.
- Don't smother. 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
- Whether to weather. When working outside, only use cords
clearly labelled for outdoor use.
II. CAMPING AND BOATING: Leaving the city behind for a wilderness
adventure plays a large part in summertime fun. Whether you are at a
camp site, cottage or on the lake, remember the following tips for a
safer summer excursion.
- Camping Stoves and Lanterns
- Don't play with fire. Fuel-burning camping equipment such as
stoves, lanterns and outdoor cookers should only be lighted
outdoors and at least 10 feet 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.
- Vent the tent. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, fuel-
burning equipment should only be used in well-ventilated areas.
- Hot is not cool. 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.
- Boats and Cottages
- Boat smarts. Always wear a personal flotation device and never
consume alcohol or intoxicants while operating a vehicle.
- Be alarmed. Ensure that certified carbon monoxide and smoke
alarms are tested and properly installed outside all sleeping
areas of your cottage or boat.
- Pest check. When opening your cottage for the season, carefully
inspect all appliances for damage from rodents or insects.
- Be prepared. Ensure boats and cottages are equipped with proper
safety equipment in the event of an emergency, including first
aid kits and fire extinguishers.
III. OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING
- Gas Grills and Barbecues
- Make a clean start. 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.
- Blowing bubbles. 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.
- Take a pass on old gas! 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
- Breathing fire. Keep grills and barbecues away from combustible
materials such as fences, trees, buildings, awnings and
carports. Never use a barbecue in a garage!
- Buy the Certification Flame. 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
- Decorative Lighting
- Product placement. When installing decorative lighting on
patios or along walkways, inspect your lighting to make sure
that it is certified and marked for use outdoors.
- Power down. Turn off the electricity supply before working with
outdoor lighting and unplug lights when possible.
- Is the light all right? 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.
- Peak timing. Use a timer to turn lights on and off. Turn lights
off during peak summer hours to avoid strain on local
For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visit
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, 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
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For further information:
For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E: firstname.lastname@example.org