Sizzling summer safety tips from CSA International

    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


    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.

        -  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
              national standards.

        -  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
              electricity resources.

    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

    Version française disponible

For further information:

For further information: Anthony Toderian, Senior Media Relations
Officer, CSA Group, T: (416) 747-2620, E:

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