Spring Season

After a tough winter, spring is a welcome change. But, with the warmer weather comes a new series of challenges. Preparation ahead of severe weather and risks associated with warmer temperatures should start as soon as possible.

We've put together a few helpful tips to help you safely navigate the spring months. Whether at home, at work, or at play, follow these tips to help stay safe when the temperature rises.

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Spring cleaning

During spring cleaning as well as before a move are ideal times to prepare or update your home inventory list. When you increase the value of your home through a renovation or purchase expensive furniture, art, jewellery or other valuable items, notify your insurance professional.

5 Tips for Making a Home Inventory

  1. Keep the bills, receipts, warranties and instruction manuals for your more valuable possessions – these can serve as proof of ownership.
  2. Store your records and receipts in a safe place, such as a safety deposit box or a secure online option.
  3. Review your home inventory every year and when you make new purchases. The value of your possessions will increase the more you acquire.
  4. Take photographs or video footage of all of your valuable possessions.
  5. Store records of credit cards, taxes, government and other important household documents in an off-site location.

Print a copy of IBC’s Personal Property Inventory Checklist or download an Excel sheet to track your possessions room by room.

 Spring Cleaning

Car maintenance

Warmer weather means more cyclists, joggers and kids playing outside, increasing the need for focus. Ensure your vehicle is maintained so you can keep your attention where it belongs – on the drive.

5 tips to maintain your car:

  1. Schedule a vehicle maintenance check to ensure tires, wipers, and brakes are functioning properly.
  2. Check tire pressures each month and don't forget the spare.
  3. Top up on windshield wiper fluid and ensure the fluid nozzles and the wiper blades are in good working order.
  4. If safe to do so, do your best to avoid potholes – they can damage tires and wheels and can potentially cause you to lost control. If you do need to pull over, be careful on gravel shoulders, as they can be softer than usual after the thaw.
  5. Have an emergency kit in the car at all times as spring storms can strike at any moment.

Water damage and spring thaw

From ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, there are many ways to be proactive such as:

  1. Keep a current and detailed home inventory
  2. If your neighbourhood is prone to flooding, take precautions throughout your house and property.
  3. Assemble a disaster safety kit. 
  4. Create a 72-hour emergency preparedness plan for your family. 

Spring Thaw

For more information: http://www.ibc.ca/on/disaster/water


Fire prevention

Fire prevention is not something that requires deep pockets or a lot of time.  Consider the common-sense precautions listed below:

  1. Frequently inspect and clean chimney flues, particularly when burning oil, coal or wood.
  2. Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from hitting the floor and rugs.
  3. Do not install a bulb with a higher wattage than the maximum indicated on the fixture.
  4. Install ground-fault circuit interrupters.
  5. Keep your attic tidy. Clutter such as clothing, boxes, books, magazines and newspapers not only fuels a fire but prevents firefighters from gaining access to extinguish the flames.
  6. Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors outside bedrooms and on each floor of your home. Check batteries every spring and fall.
  7. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen.
  8. Consider investing in a lightning rod if your home is built on an elevated or exposed site.
  9. Ensure your garage is separated from the living quarters by a fire-resistant, self-closing door.
  10. Ensure your garage has properly wired light fixtures that are controlled by a switch rather than makeshift installations that use an extension cord.
  11. Do not store gasoline, solvents, waste or other flammable materials near your furnace or in your garage. Store them in an outbuilding away from your home.
  12. Ensure your fuses and circuit breakers work properly. Inspect aluminum wiring periodically. Consider hiring an electrician to review your wiring.
  13. If your home has a heating boiler, have it inspected and cleaned frequently. Do not block the air vent or damper. If your home has an oil tank, have it periodically inspected to ensure it is airtight so fuel oil does not overflow or leak.
  14. Remove excess lint from the lint trap of your clothes dryer and keep the exhaust vent clean.
  15. Don't let dry leaves and debris collect near the outside walls of your home, particularly if you have wood or vinyl siding.
  16. Have enough electrical outlets to avoid the excessive use of extension cords. If an extension cord is needed, don't run it under a rug.
  17. When cooking: Keep pot handles turned inward over the stove. Remove greasy build-up from the range hood and the filters. Keep curtains pulled away from any heating elements on the stove.
  18. Do not leave lighted candles unattended or burning overnight.
  19. Do not leave a clothing iron or hair straightening iron unattended.
  20. Never smoke in bed. Better yet, always smoke outside and away from the home. Be sure to securely store matches and lighters away from children.

Fire Prevention

Source: Getprepared.ca

For more information: http://www.ibc.ca/on/disaster/fire