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Add this to your spring cabin to-do list

April 23, 2018

A smoke alarm

Finally, sunshine and warm weather! You’ve been cooped up all winter, so naturally your first instinct is to drive up to the cabin and get it ready for summer.

You probably have quite the to-do list: Make sure no trees or large limbs fell on the property. Put the dock back in the water. Turn on the utilities. Do some cleaning and air it out. Restock the food and supplies.

As long as you’re checking boxes, be sure to add the most important one: Make sure the smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your cabin are working. If you don’t have any, buy some. The vast majority of fire deaths happen at home — and your cabin is a home too. You need smoke and CO alarms in any structure you sleep in or where you’ll be spending a lot of time, especially if that structure has a heating unit or gas-powered appliances.

You’ll need to install one CO and smoke alarm outside of every sleeping area, and on every level. They’re the best way to make sure a fun weekend at the lake doesn’t turn deadly, but fires can still happen. That’s why you’ll also need to develop and practice a fire escape plan for the cabin.

Because you don’t spend as much time at the cabin as you do at home, its layout may not be as familiar to you – especially in the dark with smoke around you and adrenaline coursing through your body. So it’s especially important to establish two ways out of every room in the cabin and a meeting place that’s a safe distance from it.

Next, make sure you practice your escape plan at the cabin. This includes family and other guests who may be visiting.

Enjoy spring now that it’s finally here—and make sure you have fire safety on your to-do list for the cabin. It’ll be much easier to have fun at the lake when you have peace of mind from knowing you’re prepared.