The Long Weekend Safety Cheat Sheet

During a busy week, an upcoming long weekend can feel like a prize for all your hard work. Summertime getaways are special events that are looked forward to by Ontarians far and wide. Long weekends provide the ideal opportunity for individuals to get out of the city, and appreciate the water and woods. However, many cottage country activities pose serious safety risks if individuals fail to take caution.

Consider this your cheat sheet for the many ways that you can ensure you have a fun time on this upcoming long weekend while minimizing your risk of injury and maximizing your fun. 

Fireworks Safety 

Lighting fireworks is an immensely popular long weekend activity that most people have participated in once or twice. Although it can be exhilarating to wander down to the beach and light off fireworks, it’s imperative that you keep in mind that you are dealing with powerful pyrotechnics. Here’s what you need to remember before and after you light your first round: 

  • Before you head out, double-check the local laws of wherever you are staying, as many cities have different firework restrictions.
  • Store your fireworks in a cool, dry place.
  • Bury any fireworks that do not have a base in dirt or sand unless the instructions state otherwise.
  • Set any fireworks at a 10-degree angle facing away from people.
  • Do not light fireworks near any obstacles or individuals.
  • Keep fireworks out of the reach of children.
  • Ensure that there is a bucket of water nearby, for firework disposal.
  • Wait 30 minutes or more before discarding a firework that failed to ignite, and do not attempt to relight it.
  • Do not light a firework you are holding.
  • Do not light a firework on a windy night.

Here's what else you need to know about fire prevention at your cottage. 

Don’t Drink and Sail 

Boating and watersports are adrenaline packed activities that nobody wants to miss out on when they’re by the lake. However, a motorized boat is a complex piece of machinery. With summer storm season in full swing, you never want to roll the dice on your safety when you are out on the water, and that is why the consumption of alcohol on the average pleasure craft is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada

Alcohol impairs your judgment and motor skills, therefore affecting your ability to boat responsibly. The repercussions of being caught drinking and boating are as follows:

  • 1st offence: At least $1,000 fine.
  • 2nd offence: At least 30 days of imprisonment.
  • 3rd offence: At least 120 days of imprisonment.

This article: Watercraft Safety 101 adds more insight.

Proceed with Caution 

If your long weekend plans consist of hiking or off-road driving, it’s vital that you are wary of any unstable terrain you may come across. When hiking, ensure that you always stick to the trails, and don’t veer too close to any unmarked cliffs, as loose rock can result in serious injury or death from a fall. Furthermore, when off-roading, avoid the activity all together if there is a rainy forecast ahead, as muddy and uneven terrain can result in an accident. 

Going on an ATV excursion? Read up on these safety tips.

Prepare for Emergencies 

Whether you’re partaking in high-intensity activities or planning to lounge by the campfire, it’s important to have a plan whenever you are outside of your usual surroundings. Here are a few simple suggestions of precautions that you can take to ensure the safety of yourself and those around you: 

  • Pack non-perishable foods and plenty of water for hiking and boating days to minimize the risk of dehydration and remain nourished.
  • Make sure that at least two people you are with have cell phones on their person at all times in case you get lost or need to make an emergency phone call. Furthermore, have a pre-determined individual that everyone will call in the case of an accident or emergency.
  • When on a boat, have more than one person on board that knows how to operate a pleasure craft in case the driver suddenly becomes unable to drive it.
  • Set a predetermined meeting point to regroup at in case any friends or family members get split up.

The upcoming long weekend is a chance for you to unwind with the ones you love away from the distractions of the city. By taking these safety precautions before and during your trip, you can be confident in knowing that your weekend getaway will be a blast for everyone involved. However, if you have been injured during a recent camping or cottage trip, you may be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Contact us today to learn more.