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Days are shorter, kids are back in school and it’s a good time for home safety reminders.

Back to school safety

As students head back to school, streets are busier and the days are a little shorter. Safety should be top-of-mind for everyone.

Is your child walking, or taking the bus, to school on their own this year? Take the time to review these safety tips with them before they head out.

  • Stay on the sidewalk

  • Cross the street only at a corner or designated crosswalk

  • Take steps back from the road when the school bus approaches the bus stop

  • Stay away from the three bus danger zones: the front, sides and back of the bus. These are blind spots for the driver so they may not see what’s in those areas

Fire prevention

There’s nothing like a cozy warm fire when cool autumn weather rolls in. Preventing fires at home doesn’t require deep pockets or a lot of time. Here are some actions you can take to help keep you and your property safe:

  1. Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen

  2. Frequently inspect and clean chimney flues, particularly when burning oil, coal or wood

  3. Don’t install a lightbulb with a higher wattage than the maximum indicated on the fixture

  4. Install smoke and carbon monoxide alarms outside bedrooms and on each floor of your home

  5. Don’t store gasoline, solvents, waste or other flammable materials near your furnace or in your garage. Store them in an outbuilding away from your home

  6. Remove excess lint from the lint trap of your clothes dryer and keep the exhaust vent clean

  7. 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

  8. When cooking, keep pot handles turned inward over the stove, remove greasy build-up from the range hood and the filters, and keep curtains pulled away from any heating elements on the stove

  9. Do not leave lit candles unattended or burning overnight

  10. Do not leave a clothing iron or hair styling tools unattended

Halloween safety

Halloween should be fun and spooky – but never dangerous. Whether you're a motorist, a parent or a trick-or-treater, keep these tips top of mind to help keep you and your community safe.

  • Keep your eyes on the road and drive slowly in residential areas

  • Plan a trick-or-treating route close to home and confirm a time of return

  • Avoid costumes with dark colours or use reflective tape

  • Ensure your property is well-lit and free from any tripping hazards

  • If you’re attending a party with plans to consume alcohol, make sure to arrange for a sober ride home

Car maintenance

As the weather cools down and the risk of the first ice and snowfall increases, it’s a good time to make sure your car is ready for changing weather and road conditions. Make sure you maintain your vehicle so you can keep your attention where it belongs – on the drive.

  • Schedule a vehicle maintenance check to ensure tires, wipers and brakes are functioning properly. This may be a good time to install your winter tires. Winter tires are recommended when the temperature is consistently colder than 7 degrees Celsius

  • Check tire pressures each month and don't forget the spare

  • Top up on windshield wiper fluid and ensure the fluid nozzles and the wiper blades are in good working order

  • If safe to do so, do your best to avoid potholes. They can damage tires and wheels and potentially cause you to lose control. If you do need to pull over, be careful on gravel shoulders – they can be softer than usual after the thaw

  • Carry an emergency kit in the car at all times