Safety Tips

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Your Well-being Is Important to Us

Invest a little time and effort to protect your personal belongings. You will reap many benefits in terms of security, well-being and peace of mind!

Our Safety Tips

Property

Automobile

Count Your Blessings – Literally!

There are some very simple ways to safeguard your belongings. One of them is to have a clear idea of what you possess.

How many CDs and cassettes do you own? What’s the make of your stereo system? Microwave? Clock radio? After a fire or theft, it’s hard to remember every detail. A fast and accurate way to take an inventory of your belongings is with a video camera. A Polaroid or tape recorder will work, too. Then give the photos or tape to someone for safekeeping.

You can also download and print our Personal Inventory Booklet to track your belongings. It’s a simple and practical tool to help you update your personal inventory. Don’t rely on an inventory you did two years ago.

Keep valuables in a safe place

Precious keepsakes and other valuables, such as jewellery, are best kept in a safety deposit box. In case of loss your insurance can help with the monetary value, but their sentimental value is irreplaceable.

Make your mark

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, police cannot identify about 20% of the stolen property they recover. Engrave your name or an identifying number on major items, such as TVs, VCRs, cameras, computers and power tools.

And do it twice: once where it’s obvious and a second time in a more hidden spot. Then put decals on your doors or windows to advertise your identification system to burglars. They may think twice about handling marked items.

Update your coverage

Are you a collector of coins? Sports cards? Jewelry? Professional-use tools? Computer equipment? Securities? Bicycles? Those items might not be typical “collectors pieces,” but people often acquire them at values greater than their insurance coverage.

And that’s a great concern to your broker, who wants to be sure that your possessions are properly protected. So it’s a good idea to update your inventory annually, inform your broker of your latest purchases, and discuss the need for additional coverage.

Questions? Call us or send us an e-mail and we’ll reply within one business day.

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Get the Lived-in Look

Going on vacation? Don’t advertise it! Use timers to turn your lights and radio on and off during the day and evening.

You can also ask a neighbour or friend to:

  • work the lights
  • mow the lawn
  • shovel the snow
  • bring in circulars, mail and newspapers
  • If you’re away for a while, remember to cancel your newspaper and put a hold on your mail.

Call us or send us an e-mail and we’ll reply within one business day.

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Think about the Unthinkable

We prefer not to think about unpleasant things, such as what would happen if a fire started in our home. Better to focus on preventing it happening, by observing the following guidelines from the Canada Safety Council.

Family Fire Safety

  • Plan and practice two escape routes from each bedroom. If one is through a second storey window, make sure you have a way to reach the ground safely
  • Make sure everyone knows your escape plan and outside meeting place, and how to call the fire department.
  • Fight a fire only if you can do so with your back to an exit.

Heating Equipment

  • Have your furnace checked and your chimney cleaned every year.
  • Clear the area around your furnace of boxes and papers.
  • Use a metal screen on your fireplace and burn only wood.
  • Keep portable heaters at least one metre away from bedding and drapes.
  • Store paint and other flammable products away from the furnace or water heater.
  • If you heat your home with gas, oil, wood or other fossil fuels, install a carbon monoxide detector with a UL or ULC label.

In the Kitchen

  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Don’t store things over the stove.
  • Keep your oven and stove clean and clear of potholders and clutter.
  • Smother a grease fire with a lid – never throw water on the flame.
  • Never heat oil in an open pot – use a CSA-approved, sealed, deep fryer.

In the Home

  • Install smoke detectors outside bedrooms and make sure everyone can hear and recognize the alarm with doors closed.
  • Replace smoke detector batteries once a year.
  • Have all-purpose fire extinguishers near cooking and heating equipment.
  • Information provided by the Canada Safety Council.

Call us or send us an e-mail and we’ll reply within one business day.

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Smoke Alarms Save Lives!

Ninety-five per cent of Canadian households have at least one smoke alarm. That explains why fewer Canadians die in home fires than back in the 1970s, before this practice became widespread.

Here are some tips on using them properly.

Types of Smoke Alarms

  • When buying a smoke alarm, look for the ULC label certifying the product meets Canadian standards.
  • Smoke alarms can be electrically powered, battery powered or a combination of both. Whatever kind you have, remember that they don’t last forever.
  • Ionization type smoke alarms typically respond first to flaming fires. They are best suited for rooms which contain highly-combustible materials.
  • Photoelectric type smoke alarms typically respond first to slow smouldering fires and are less prone to nuisance alarms near the kitchen area.
  • For maximum protection, install at least one ionization and one photoelectric type smoke alarm on each level of your home.

Safety Measures

  • Install a smoke alarm on every floor. In apartments or bungalows, install alarms near the kitchen and by every bedroom.
  • Make sure everyone in your home recognizes the sound of the alarm and knows what to do in case of a fire.
  • Never remove the batteries from a smoke alarm-for any reason!

Maintenance

  • Replace your smoke alarm every five years (at least…) and, in the meantime, make sure to regularly maintain it.
  • Clean the inside of smoke alarms every six months as they may not work if they are plugged up, even if the batteries are still good.
  • Clean smoke alarms more often if a smoker lives in the house.
  • Replace the batteries once a year, or when you hear intermittent beeping.
  • Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
  • If an alarm is electrically connected to household circuits and doesn’t sound, check the fuse and try again. In either case, if the alarm still isn’t working, replace the entire unit.

Source: Canada Safety Council

Questions? Call us or send us an e-mail and we’ll reply within one business day.

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Picture A Fender-Bender

If you’re involved in a car accident, it’s important to know what to do afterward:

  • Immediately check for personal injuries and call for emergency aid, if needed.
  • If you or any of your passengers are hurt, get emergency help.
  • If possible, and necessary, drive your car to the side of the road, away from traffic.
  • Draw a sketch of the accident scene, if you can, and write down any details of the accident (i.e. estimated speed, weather, road conditions). It’s surprising how quickly your recollection fades after an accident. Describe damage to your vehicle and others involved. You might even draw a sample picture of them, circling damaged areas.
  • Write down the other driver’s name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, vehicle make and model, vehicle owner and address (if different from the driver’s), insurer and policy number.

Your accident report must be filed with the police within 48 hours. When you report the claim to your broker, you will also need a copy of the police report or accident number.

For more details, contact us or e-mail us and we’ll reply within one business day.

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Cell Phones and Driving

Do you ever talk on the phone while driving? Or do you drive while talking on the phone?

Remember that the danger increases with use, and that it’s better to be safe than sorry! Take the time to go over these tips from the Canada Safety Council.

Talking on the Phone

  • Use a hands-free model
  • Keep conversations brief
  • Use speed dialing
  • Never dial while driving
  • Don’t take notes while driving
  • If a conversation becomes too engrossing, pull over somewhere safe
  • Let your voice mail pick up calls in tricky driving situations
  • Practise using your cell phone and voice mail while your car is stopped
  • Avoid unnecessary calls

Driving

  • Keep your hands on the wheel
  • Keep your eyes on the road
  • Stay in your lane
  • Drive carefully
  • Always make driving your number one priority

Source: Canada Safety Council

Questions? Call us or send us an email and we’ll reply within one business day.