Summer Season 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 summer months. Whether at home, at work, or at play, follow these tips to help stay safe this summer.Jump to section: Water damage and flash floodsFire preventionVacation readySocial host (liquor liability) Water damage and flash floodsFrom ensuring that important documents are not stored in your basement to installing a sump pump, there are many ways to be proactive such as:Keep a current and detailed home inventory. If your neighbourhood is prone to flooding, take precautions throughout your house and property.Assemble a disaster safety kit. Create a 72-hour emergency preparedness plan for your family. 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:Frequently inspect and clean chimney flues, particularly when burning oil, coal or wood.Use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from hitting the floor and rugs.Do not install a bulb with a higher wattage than the maximum indicated on the fixture.Install ground-fault circuit interrupters.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.Install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors outside bedrooms and on each floor of your home. Check batteries every spring and fall. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Consider investing in a lightning rod if your home is built on an elevated or exposed site.Ensure your garage is separated from the living quarters by a fire-resistant, self-closing door.Ensure your garage has properly wired light fixtures that are controlled by a switch rather than makeshift installations that use an extension cord.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.Ensure your fuses and circuit breakers work properly. Inspect aluminum wiring periodically. Consider hiring an electrician to review your wiring.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.Remove excess lint from the lint trap of your clothes dryer and keep the exhaust vent clean.Don't let dry leaves and debris collect near the outside walls of your home, particularly if you have wood or vinyl siding.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.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.Do not leave lighted candles unattended or burning overnight.Do not leave a clothing iron or hair straightening iron unattended.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. Source: Getprepared.ca For more information: http://www.ibc.ca/on/disaster/fire Vacation Ready A few simple rules to help prevent theft:Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to collect your mail and newspapers, keep your sidewalk and driveway clear, and park his or her car in your driveway. You can also request that mail deliveries be stopped or re-routed to a different address until you return.Consider light switch timers, especially multiple timers on a random setting. They are inexpensive and make your home appear lived in.Installing a home security system and outdoor motion detectors may deter burglars from targeting your home.Inspect your home before you leave. Put away bicycles and gardening or snow removal equipment, and be sure to lock your shed. Closely trim trees and shrubs to keep your house in plain view.If loading luggage into your car, do so in your garage if possible, so you don't alert potential thieves you are leaving. Leave curtains and/or blinds as you would normally keep them while at home but be sure to store any jewellery, valuables and important paperwork out of sight or in a home safe or bank safety deposit box. Noticeable changes in your home's typical appearance may hint that you are away. Don't announce your vacation plans in casual conversations, in emails or on social networking sites For more information: http://assets.ibc.ca/Documents/Brochures/Preventing-Theft-Fire.pdf Social Host (Liquor Liability)If you host a party at your home and serve liquor to a guest who causes an auto collision, you could be sued. If a courier slips, trips and falls while on your property, you could be liable. Risk management tips can help you prevent worst-case scenarios.Hosting a Party and Serving Alcohol?You may be responsible for your guests' actions if you serve people past the point of intoxication on your property. Hosting a backyard wedding with several dozen or more guests increases the possibility of you not being able to monitor all alcohol consumption. Tips for Limiting Alcohol Consumption Today, the legal threshold for intoxication is lower and courts now hold people who serve alcohol to their friends and guests on their property more accountable. Whether you are a homeowner or tenant, you may be held responsible for your guests' behaviour – even after they leave your property – if you serve them alcohol. Consider the following before you serve alcohol to guests:Ask people when they arrive if they are a designated driver Ensure many non-alcoholic beverages and food options are availableOne hour before you anticipate guests will leave, stop serving alcohol and start serving coffee, tea or waterHave cash on hand for cabs and/or an extra bedroom made up for last-minute overnight guestsKeep watch and don't hesitate to ask for someone's keys if you have concerns about their ability to driveTips for Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls Before a courier, babysitter, delivery person or repair technician visits or you host an event at your home, address common hazards by:Using salt, shovel and/or sand to keep walking surfaces clear of ice and snow within bylaw timeframes or best practices that dictate when snow clearing should be completedFixing unexpected elevation changes, surface cracks or gaps within your property line and/or report issues on municipally-owned property such as uneven sidewalks Putting a non-slip covering over slippery surfaces such as wet floors or tile flooringRepairing loose handrails on stairs or installing missing handrailsRemoving any debris – such as slippery and wet fall leaves – on walking paths Ensuring all areas are adequately litFor more information: http://www.ibc.ca/on/home/risk-management/liability/social-host-(liquor-liability) Personal Property Inventory ChecklistTo avoid problems later, take the time to fill out this pamphlet carefully. Keep bills, receipts, warranties and instruction manuals for your more valuable possessions.Preventing Theft and FireAccording to Statistics Canada, break-ins account for a large portion of property crime in Canada. In most cases, burglars require very little time to break in.Wildfire Safety - What you need to knowWildfires are a real and present danger, especially if you live in a grasslands region or have a heavily forested area. However, you can take measures to protect your family, your home or your business. Let's look at these measures step by step.Water Damage is on the rise: Are you protectedCanada’s increasingly severe weather means that basement flooding and water damage are becoming more common. Learn how to protect your home and your property.Filing an Insurance ClaimSometimes life happens. If you’ve been in a collision or if your home has been burglarized or damaged in some way, you’ll want to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.Protecting Your Home Away From HomeDid you know that insurance for your vacation property works a bit differently than insurance for your primary residence? Related ServicesWaterDamage from torrential rains can be extensive. Recognizing that urban communities are vulnerable, IBC is piloting technology to help protect against sewer backup damage. FireFire is a common fear. Wildfires are difficult to contain and unpredictable. Learn how to extinguish home fires and reduce your risk of a home fire. Home InventoryA current inventory of your belongings makes it easier to file a claim. Keeping your records off-site is wise in case a fire or flood damages your property. Consider updating your home inventory each spring and advise your insurer of any major purchases.Liquor Liability (Social Host)As a homeowner, you have potential liability for bodily injury or property damage arising out of the negligent serving or distribution of alcohol on your property. Useful LinksCrisis Management - Auto InsuranceIn times of crisis, slowing down is often the best approach. A crisis can be weather related. Whether your vehicle has been damaged by water, wind, fire, ice or an earthquake, make sure you know what to do in the event of an emergencyCrisis Management - Home InsuranceFrom floods to fires to earthquakes, severe weather can damage your home. A home robbery or attempted break-in can put you, your family and your property, at risk. If you’re in a crisis situation that could affect the structure of your home or your own health, keep calm and seek alternate shelter immediately. Crisis Management - Business InsuranceA crisis can happen at any time, threatening an organization in a multitude of tangible and intangible ways. Following best practices in risk management – including creating a business continuity plan – can mean the difference between recovery and bankruptcy.