View the Burning Control By-Law 2014-018 HERE

Life at the cottage should be lazy, carefree and fun. Usually it is, but even in idyllic situations, emergencies can happen. It is always best to be prepared, for instance, if you suddenly need the police, fire department, or an ambulance. Would you know what to do? Would you know the quickest way to get help? Do you know what to do when seconds count? When an emergency occurs, you must react automatically.

Keep a list of all emergency numbers beside your phone (Fire, Police, Ambulance, your civic number).

Make sure your civic number is clearly visible from the lake.  If you need a sign CLICK HERE for information on how to purchase a sign for your property as well as where it should be located.

Make a call to the correct emergency numbers to confirm the right procedure, if, and when, an emergency arises.

Rehearse these procedures with your family.

Be Fire Smart

1. Fire Pumps

If anyone would like to purchase a fire pump, or needs some information regarding fire pumps, please contact Rob Habel.

Or if you have purchased one recently, please advise Claus so he can update the locations of pumps on the island.

Following is the price and a recommended configuration for a Honda fire pump.

Total package price, minimum configuration: $1267 (plus applicable taxes).

Honda 4 horsepower, 4 stroke gasoline pump model WH15XK1C1 costs $789. 20 feet of suction hose costs $50. 200 feet of 1.5 inch fire hose (comes in 100 foot sections) costs $378 and the nozzle costs $50. The pump weighs 48 lbs, produces 88 gal per minute (400 litres per minute) and as it is 4 stroke there is no requirement to mix oil with the gasoline.

This is a minimum configuration suggested for Browning Island considering that buildings are at least 66 feet back from the water's edge. Additional lengths of fire hose may be required in individual situations. Hose can be ordered in 50 foot lengths but anything less than 100 feet requires an extra set of connectors.

These prices were obtained June 2009 from Northgate Power Equipment (formerly Janssen's) in Bracebridge: 705-645-8464

2. Safe Campfires

Safe Campfires are built ...
1. on bare soil or exposed rock
2. sheltered from the wind
3. at least three meters from the forest, overhanging branches or other flammable material

Safe Campfires have ...
4. a pail of water and a shovel at hand to control the fire
5. someone tending them all the time

Safe Campfires are ...
6. a small fire is best for cooking and easier to control and put out. The forest is no place for a bonfire
7. put out as soon as possible. How?
-. douse with water then stir the ashes with a stick or shovel to uncover any hot coals, and douse again.
- continue this process until you can feel no hot coals

Robbie's Adventure

Robbie, a deak, fifteen-year-old cocker, is an enthusiastic cottager, and Browning Island is the perfect venue for his favourite activity, investigating the rich variety of scents along the trails. But first, he must get to the island, and that can be a frustratingly slow experience for him. On arrival at the mainland take-off point preparation for the trip begins with the donning of his life-jacket with its buckles and other adjustments for the perfect fit. Tedious, but a serious task not to be compromised through haste, neglect, or short-cuts!

Finally the boat trip is under way and, as the dock looms ahead, Robbie is all a-quiver as he makes the leap onto the dock. Alas, occasionally, he falls short of his destination and lands in the water. Splash, spash! No need to panic! A quick grab of the loop on his life-jacket and Robbie is happily once more on 'terra firma'.

On Robbie's most recent trip, the usual plunge escalated from routine to alarm! He actually landed safely on arrival, and immediately pursued several of his favourite trails, freeing his human companions to unload and carry many items up the hill to the cottage. Then, after a few minutes, it was round-up time for Robbie - not a sign of Robbie anywhere. Immediate panic descended - hasty investigation around the cottage, scouting along the shore-line, where could he be? No use calling a deaf dog. A chance push on the door of the boathouse, all shuttered and as drak as a tomb inside, revealed a gentle, swishing sound, somewhere in or around the slip - Robbie! He was obviously exhausted from thrashing around aimlessly in the frigid water of the dark boathouse. But his head and body were safely buoyed up above the water by the life-jacket. It was, indeed, a happy ending to what might have been a tragic nightmare.

Robbie and his owner will always be committed champions of life-jackets!

Tubing Fun starts with common-sense Safety

This article by Jack McIrvine appeared in The Muskokan, Sept 13, 2007 and is reproduced here with permission.

Water sport activities seem to follow trendy patterns. Some years ago it was wind-surfers, this summer only a few are out on the lakes. For many years water-skiing was the activity of choice. Now attention is on wakeboarding. Among the younger set, riding tubes and assorted other floating shapes is increasing steadily.

Towing tubes involves the boat, the tow line, their connections, communications and a few constraints.

The Boat? The reliable cottage runabout is fine, provided it has room for everyone involved and solid cleats or other connections for the tow line in an appropriate place.

The Towline? Know your ropes. Polypropylene is best for towing since it floats and doesn't stretch. Nylon is bad, since it stretches under tension and if it breaks, the stored energy makes both ends dangerous missiles. The end of the line on the boat should be centred, so the weight of the tow is in line with the boat's pull, and it should be fastened competently so it can be released quickly when desired, especially in an emergency.

Remember your knots. A bowline loop fitted over the tow ring or cleat is ideal. At the tube, use the grommet or fitting provided in the tube, and consider quick release here also.

The length of the tow line is partly a matter of choice. Closer to the towing boat gives more control, but longer lines leave the kids more scope to swing farther to the sides. Remember that the tube will be in the wake and wash of the boat, and this involves a series of bow waves. A line just long enough to put the tube exactly on top of one of these waves leads to an exciting ride for those being towed.

Signals are well developed for water-skiing and wakeboarding, but casual observeration seems to indicate that not many people bother developing communications for youngsters on tubes. The half dozen basic hand signals are not hard to learn.

When you are towing with people on the tube, the towing boat must have a spotter on board, whose sole responsibility is to keep track of the tube and passengers on it. The boat operator should keep his or her attention directed ahead and concentrate on running the boat. The boat must have seats, space and capacity for each of the riders on the tube and everyone on the tube must wear an appropriate PFD all the time. These three "musts" are covered by firm regulations and transgressions can lead to significant fines.

This summer some empirical observation has indicated that tubes are increasingly being towed by personal watercraft. These must be at least three-person models (for driver, spotter and tuber), and I regret to report observation of several instances this summer where there was a shortage of space - two person PWCs or two or three people on the tube. Not a good idea if ever there are problems.

The tub passengers should ideally be competent swimmers, since despite PFDs they will have to maneuver in the water at some point and get into the boat on occasion. The objective of tubing is to have fun, and this is ideally accomplished with lots of open space. The constraints on this are logical - no towing in rivers or narrow channels (between buoys) and remember that the boat doing the towing has to follow all the usual rules of the road. The addition of the tube doesn't give it any special status.

Finally, tubing is permissible only in daylight hours between an hour after sunset and sunrise. If sunset is around 8 pm visibility is much reduced by 9 pm. So consider scheduling your tubing outings earlier in the day and enjoy.

Jack McIrvine is a past commander of the Bracebridge Power Squadron.

Rob Habel,
Fire and Safety Chair
© Browning Island Cottagers' Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software