Cottage Season Can Be Year Round. 4 Tips to Help Winterize Your Cottage

Cottage season is beginning to wind down and after an amazing summer, some will be bidding their cottages farewell until the next year. That being said, as Coronavirus cases in Canada continue to increase, more people are working from home, some of which may even be interested in extending their cottage stay for the fall and winter seasons. Although many of these cottages are only liveable during the spring and summer months, these 4 tips can help change your summer oasis into your all-season sanctuary.

Cottage in a winter wonderland.
Could you live in your cottage all winter?
  1. How are you going to heat your cottage this winter? – You’ll want to consult with a professional to find out which heat source would best suit your cottage. The kind of heat source you want can be based around price and where your cottage is located. Insurance policies and coverage vary depending on what heat source you plan to install. So before you choose your heat source, you should call your insurance broker to make sure that you are covered and see how different heat sources can affect your insurance premiums.


  1. What kind of electrical and plumbing do you have? – Your electrical and plumbing systems may need upgrading or replacing to support all-season living. To prevent your pipes and plumbing from freezing this winter, you will need to run your pipes on the warm side of the insulation. It is important that an electrician or plumber comes and inspects your house as they can tell you what work needs to be done to winterize your utilities.


  1. Ramp up the insulation – Canadian winters are notoriously cold, so you’ll need to install proper insulation in your cottage if you plan on being there this winter. Add a vapour barrier to prevent condensation from developing inside the walls, or else your cottage could be at risk for mould and rot. (Mould and rot are not covered under a standard home policy)


  1. Upgrade your windows and doors – Many cottages windows and doors are outdated and are not properly sealed, which is fine if you are not there during the colder months. Ensure that all windows and doors in your cottage need are properly sealed to prevent drafts from coming in and warm air from escaping (this also helps with energy savings). Depending on the type of windows currently installed at your seasonal property, they may need to be swapped out for a year-round alternative (such as new double-paned windows).


How does winterizing your cottage affect your insurance?

If you’re thinking about converting your summer cottage into a four-season home, reach out to your insurance broker to make sure you have the coverage you need for year-round protection. Contact your local broker at Miller Insurance to see if you have the right coverage during renovations or to see if there are any limitations if you plan on renting it out.

Kitchen Safety Tips for this Thanksgiving

Ah yes Thanksgiving, a time for turkey, fall walks, family (unfortunately only the ones you live with this year) and several hours of cooking the most extravagant of meals. If you are like me and often get distracted from the most mundane of tasks, fire safety isn’t always top of mind. Whether that be from a phone call, work, picking out the perfect wine to pair with your meal or Sunday night football, a few minutes away from your meal could result in a house fire.

Kitchen fires account for 44 per cent of all house fires and Thanksgiving is the number 1 day for house fires in the US and Canada. Here are some tips to ensure a safe Thanksgiving feast this weekend.

  1. Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
  2. Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  3. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  4. Always turn the oven and burners off when finished cooking.
  5. Prevent burns and stove top fires by turning pot handles toward the back of the stove and use the rear burners when children are in the kitchen.
  6. Stay alert and avoid cooking when under the influence of medications or alcohol.
  7. Keep all combustibles including oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, pot holders and curtains away from hot surfaces.

What To Do If You Have A Kitchen Fire

  • Try to smother the fire with a lid or baking sheet if it is safe to do so, then turn off the heat source (oven, gas or electric burners, BBQ etc.)
  • If the flames do not go out, use a multi-purpose fire extinguisher (A,B or C) to try to extinguish the flames
  • If the flames still are not out, ensure to get everyone out from your home immediately and call 9-1-1 or your local emergency number.
  • If the fire is small and confined and you choose to fight the fire, ensure all other occupants leave and have a clear way out.

For more Fire Safety Tips visit


Driving tips this harvest season

Harvest season is upon us.

With the arrival of fall comes a change in scenery; the trees begin to change colours, playoff baseball begins (go Jays) and farmers’ begin to harvest their crops. While driving on our local roads, we’re going to notice more tractors driving from field to field and to the different grain elevators around our community. This often means that you will find yourself stuck behind a slow moving farm vehicle, that may take up more space than a car or truck. To ensure your safety and the safety for our local farmers, please slow down, be patient and only pass when it is safe to do so. Farmers understand that your trip may be delayed and will pull onto the shoulder when they can safely do so.

Rules of the Road for fall: A harvest season gets underway, here are some tips for motorists | NKyTribune

Photo courtesy of

Here are some safety tips for motorists this harvest season:

  • Do not pass farm equipment unless there is a dotted line or within 100 feet of an intersection, railroad crossing or bridge
  • Pass with caution if the farmer pulls onto the should to allow you to pass
  • Do not pass if there are any curves or hills ahead that could impede your view of oncoming vehicles
  • Do not assume that a farm vehicle that pulls onto the shoulder is going to let you pass. Large farm vehicles may have to make wide turns, so look for turn signals or hand signals before passing.
  • Do not assume the farmer can see you or knows that you intend to pass.
  • Do not tailgate, as it may distract the equipment operator.

Safety tips for farmers on rural roads:

  • Farmers must have a slow moving vehicle sign if the tractor and other vehicles are incapable of sustaining speeds over 40 km/h.
  • The slow moving vehicle sign must be visible from a minimum of 150 meters away (500 ft.).
  • Ensure that you’re lights, flashers and signals all work properly
  • Only move onto the road’s shoulder if it is safe to do so.
  • Check to see if hitched equipment obscures lights or signage. As drivers behind you may not know if you are turning if your signals are obscured.

Remember, farmers have the same right to use the roads as other motorists and need to in order to get from field to field and to the different elevators in our community. Keep in mind being stuck behind farm equipment for 4 KM’s is the equivalent to waiting for two stop lights. You have time to wait and our local farmers have a job to do.