June 8, 2024 in Blog

Cottage Safety Essentials: Ensuring a Safe and Enjoyable Retreat

Cottage Safety pic

So the cottage is now open, and you are looking forward to some serious summer fun and relaxation. Cottages offer a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, providing a perfect retreat to unwind and reconnect with nature. However, ensuring safety while enjoying your time at the cottage is paramount. Here are some essential safety tips to keep your cottage experience enjoyable and worry-free.


The beauty of cottages and summer retreats are they are removed from city centres and it may take longer for EMS to arrive.  Have your Civic Address posted near the phone, should anyone have to make that call.  Ensure signs and landmarks are visible, with access lanes clear.  Knowing the response time for EMS in your area, helps you determine how long first aid treatment may be required.  

First Aid Kit

A well-stocked first aid kit is a must-have for any cottage. Include essentials such as bandages, antiseptic wipes, adhesive tape, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications. It’s also beneficial to have a basic first aid manual on hand to guide you through common injuries and emergencies.

Water Safety

For cottages located near water, water safety is critical. Ensure that everyone wears life jackets when engaging in boating or swimming activities. Find more information on PFD from my blog Aug 2023. Establish and enforce strict swimming boundaries, especially for children, and always have a designated adult watching over swimmers. Additionally, having a throwable flotation device and a rescue hook accessible can be lifesaving in emergencies. Don’t overlook the First Kit for the boat. Learn more about E.S.D. in Marinas.

Fire Safety

Fire hazards are a significant concern in remote locations. Ensure that your cottage is equipped with smoke detectors in every room, and test them regularly. Keep a fire extinguisher in accessible locations, particularly in the kitchen and near any fireplaces or wood stoves. If your cottage uses a wood stove or fireplace, have the chimney cleaned and inspected annually to prevent creosote buildup, which can cause chimney fires.

Electrical Safety

Given the rustic nature of many cottages, electrical systems can sometimes be outdated or compromised. Inspect all electrical wiring and outlets for damage or wear. Avoid overloading circuits with too many devices, and unplug appliances when not in use. Installing ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs) in wet areas such as kitchens and bathrooms can prevent electrical shocks.

Security Measures

Though cottages are often in secluded areas, security is still important. Install sturdy locks on all doors and windows, and consider adding motion-sensor lights around the property. Inform neighbors or local authorities of your stay, and establish a check-in system with family or friends to ensure someone is aware of your location and plans.

Wildlife Precautions

Living close to nature means encounters with wildlife are possible. Store food in airtight containers to avoid attracting animals. Familiarize yourself with the local wildlife and understand how to react if you encounter a bear, snake, or other potentially dangerous animal. Keep garbage securely stored and dispose of it properly to avoid attracting pests. By following these cottage safety essentials, you can ensure that your retreat remains a safe haven. With the right precautions, your time at the cottage can be both relaxing and secure, allowing you to fully enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature.

Wishing everyone a safe and healthy summer.

Kathryn Davies

Kathryn Davies

President Owner

Life’s Emergency Training