Be a BBQ Star

A barbecue is a great way to enjoy the summer with your family and friends. Share these tips with your parents to make sure your whole family gets the most fun out of your barbecue get-togethers.

But first things first - leave the barbecue and barbecuing up to the grown-ups! While you should never use or go near a BBQ, don't let that stop you from showing the grown-ups how much you know about being safe around the grill!

The BBQ Check:

Let your parents in on these helpful barbecuing safety tips:

  • It's important to clean a BBQ regularly. The burners should be free of rust, dirt, and spider webs to prevent fires.
  • Your folks should check the hose that leads from the propane tank to the burners every once in a while. If it is cracked or damaged, it should be replaced.
  • They should also check the connections between the propane tank and its hose. This connection needs to be tight and damaged parts must be replaced.
  • Stick to the great outdoors. To keep you and your family safe, your parents should always barbeque outside. And the BBQ should be at least three feet away from the house.

Light it Right:

  • Before they light the BBQ, your parents should make sure it is on level ground and that it's far away from windows and anything that could catch on fire. They should keep the lid open, as well.

Keep it Safe - More Tips for BBQ Safety

  • Once a propane tank is more than 10 years old, it must be inspected and re-certified.
  • Always store propane cylinders outdoors.
  • You should always keep a safe distance away from the BBQ. Make sure your pets stay well back, too.
  • Remind your parents that they should never walk away from a lit barbecue.
  • They should also keep the BBQ clean to prevent greasy fires.
  • When your parents are moving propane containers, the tanks should always be standing upright and tied in the vehicle.

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Fuel-Handling (Propane)

Transporting Propane Cylinders

During BBQ season, it's important for your parents to remember how to handle a propane cylinder properly. Remind them of these rules that will reduce dangerous incidents and help prevent injuries.

  • Your parents should always carry a propane cylinder in an upright position with the safety valve on top.
  • The best way to transport a propane tank is on the floor of a car or truck in the passenger area. It should never be placed in the trunk.
  • The cylinder should be secured in an upright position, so it won't tip over during the drive.
  • When it is in the passenger area, all the windows should be open.
  • A cylinder should never be left in a parked car with the windows up. Heat builds up quickly and could cause an explosion.
  • When the tank is being reconnected to the BBQ, your parents should make sure it is securely in place.
  • After the hose is reconnected, they should check that the connection is tight.

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Fuel-Handling (Gasoline)

Treat Fuel With Care

Gasoline is a common fuel that's used around our houses and cottages during the summertime. It's used to power lawnmowers, chainsaws, weed trimmers, motors, All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), and much more. Even though we may use it everyday, gasoline can be dangerous. It is extremely explosive, and must always be used carefully and cautiously.

Gasoline: Use With Extreme Caution

Gasoline has only one purpose and that's to power an engine. Using gasoline for any other reason may result in a fire, explosion, or life-threatening injury. When running a gas-powered engine, it's important for your folks to know these facts:

  • They should keep a BC Class fire extinguisher handy. Water will not put out a gasoline-based fire.
  • It's very dangerous to work in an enclosed space like a garage, basement, or tent with a gas-powered engine. And the engine should never be left running in one of these places.
  • Remind your parents that equipment should have a chance to cool down for a few minutes before they pour more gas into them.


The safest place to store gasoline is in a detached garage or shed that's well away from heat and direct sunlight. It is unsafe to leave gasoline in the basement of your home or in the cottage. And gasoline should only be stored in a container or tank that's approved for gasoline storage purposes.

Filling Containers

  • Your parents should use only approved fuel containers with the CSA, or ULC symbol.
  • These containers should be kept well away from sparks or other sources of flame.
  • When filling a fuel container, your parents should keep it steady by placing it on the ground. Once they're finished, they should tighten the caps.
  • Never leave a container of gasoline in direct sunlight or in the trunk of a car.


The best way to dispose of gasoline is to use it all up. If your parents end up with leftover gasoline, it should never be poured on the ground, down sewers, or into drains. The best place to get rid of it is a hazardous waste disposal centre in your area.

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Cottage Opening

Make Safety Second Nature

When summer hits, it's time to make a beeline for the cottage. While having fun is always on the "to-do" list, don't forget about these safety tips, too. Be summer smart during your vacation!

  • Your parents should take a quick look at the power lines that lead into your cottage. If there is any damage, they need to have someone come and repair it before using the electricity.
  • It's also important to inspect indoor and outdoor wiring for damage from mice and other rodents. Your folks should have a licensed electrician repair any damage found.
  • Propane appliances like stoves, fridges, and heaters need to be inspected and maintained by a qualified technician each cottage season.
  • Out with the old! It's a good idea for your parents to consider replacing old appliances with new ones that include safety features.
  • Alarms save lives. Be sure to install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and replace the batteries in them at the start of the season.
  • It's smart to be prepared. Install a fully charged fire extinguisher in a place where everyone can see it. And be sure that everybody knows how to use it properly.
  • Lend a hand by cleaning up garbage, fallen leaves, and branches found around the cottage.
  • Remind your parents to get rid of old cleaning products and fuels at a nearby hazardous waste distribution centre.
  • Prepare for the first bonfire of the season. Help clean up your cottage's approved fire pit, and have your folks cut back any branches or growth that may be too close to it.

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Around The Campsite

  • Make sure you arrive at your campsite in the daylight.
  • Have your parents check the site for any glass or sharp objects.
  • They should also be on the lookout for poison ivy, bees, ants, and any dead branches that may come crashing down.
  • Before your parents get a roaring campfire going, it's best to find out if open fires are permitted by local or provincial authorities.
  • Your folks also need to be sure that all propane stoves and heaters are properly connected.
  • Do your part. Keep your campsite tidy to avoid accidents.

Campfire Safety

  • Don't fool with fire. You should never start a fire yourself or get too close to one. Leave the fire to the adults.
  • Your parents should never start a fire with a flammable liquid. Paper and sticks are always the way to go.
  • Fires should only be built in a proper barbecue container, on sand or soil, or within an approved campfire area. And they should always be at least two metres away from anything that could easily catch fire.
  • Be sure your folks build the fire in a place where it can't spread.
  • Remind your parents that they should never leave a fire unattended.
  • Make sure your parents are prepared to douse those flames. They should keep simple firefighting tools like brooms, shovels, and pails of water or sand within easy reach just in case a fire gets out of control.
  • After a fire has been put out, keep away from the ashes. They stay extremely hot long after the flames have been snuffed out.
  • Use some fashion sense. Don't wear loose clothing that can easily catch fire.
  • Singing by the fire is encouraged. But there should never be any "horse play" around it. And jumping over the fire is extremely dangerous, too.
  • Remind your folks that they should never reach into an open fire to rearrange the wood.

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Portable Propane Heaters

STAY SAFE while you stay warm

It can be very dangerous when a portable propane heater is used improperly. This summer, when it gets chilly at your cottage or campsite, here's how you can stay warm and stay safe.

Never use a portable propane heater in an enclosed space, such as a camper, tent, car, home, or cottage. These heaters produce deadly carbon monoxide. To warm yourself up when you're feeling frosty, try these cozy ideas:

  • Sit around a crackling campfire.
  • Have your parents make a fire in the fireplace for the whole family to enjoy.
  • Use a heater that is permanently installed and properly vented, so you don't need to be concerned about carbon monoxide.
  • Plug in an electrical space heater.

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General CO

Keep your Summer CO Free

Carbon monoxide, or CO, is a poisonous gas that can cause serious harm to you and your family. In the summertime, CO can build up in your cottage, tent, garage, camper, boat cabin, or RV under certain conditions. Learn how you can prevent CO from harming you and your family.

To reduce the risk of CO exposure, there are some simple safety rules to follow:

  • Your parents should never use a propane or charcoal BBQ indoors.
  • They should also never leave a car or lawnmower running inside a closed garage.
  • It is important to never use kerosene or gas space heaters indoors when they are approved for outdoor use only.
  • If your parents are having a fuel-burning appliance serviced, the work should only be done by a licensed contractor.

What is Carbon Monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, tasteless, and odourless gas that can be extremely harmful. It is produced when fuels such as propane, gasoline, natural gas, wood, and kerosene are burned. If they are not burned safely inside your home or cottage, these fuels can create high levels of CO, and this can put you and your family in serious danger.

Know the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

Carbon monoxide poisoning has symptoms similar to the flu including headaches, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, an upset stomach, vomiting, confusion, and loss of consciousness. If anyone in your house experiences these symptoms, it is extremely important that everyone - even your pets - get outside into the fresh air immediately. Once outside, you can call 911 or your local fire department.

How to Avoid Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Your parents should have a registered heating contractor inspect and maintain your fuel-burning appliances at least once a year.

A registered heating contractor is the only person qualified to inspect and service your furnace, stove, fridge, water heater, and wood-burning stove. It's his or her job to keep these appliances working properly so you stay safe and sound.

Install approved and up-to-date CO alarms in your home, cottage, RV, or boat cabin.

A CO alarm warns you of rising levels of carbon monoxide. This life-saving device gives you and your family the time to safely escape to fresh air and then correct the problem.

CO alarms should be installed:

  • on every level of your home or cottage
  • in your RV and boat cabin
  • near all sleeping areas
  • in your garage
  • at knee-level or, for combined CO/smoke alarms, on the ceiling

Do NOT install CO alarms near:

  • windows or vents
  • bathrooms
  • heating or fuel-burning appliances
  • smoke alarms

Test all alarms monthly.
Remind your parents to test all CO alarms and smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button on the unit.

Change the batteries yearly.
The batteries in all alarms should be replaced once a year. It's a smart idea for your parents to change the batteries every fall when they change the clocks.

Alarms need to be replaced eventually.
Like most things, CO alarms and smoke alarms wear out over time. CO alarms usually need to be replaced after two to five years, and smoke alarms usually last for about ten years.

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