Barbecue Season Is In Full Swing: Don’t Go Up In Flames
The joys of outdoor cooking also bring fire and associated risks. Here are some safety reminders for gas and propane barbecues to protect you and your property from harm or damage.
• Never operate a barbecue in an enclosed space, close to a structure, or near combustibles. Have a one metre radius around it free of obstructions.
• Keep your barbecue in tip top shape. Check for hose breakage, valve leaks, and other parts before securing the tank well and turning on the gas.
• When in use, never leave the grill unattended, and when finished turn the tank off before the burners so the remaining gas in the lines can burn off. This can help prevent a flash the next time the BBQ is in use.
• Make sure your fire extinguisher is easily accessible and in good working order.
• Propane companies use an additive to create an unpleasant odour like rotten eggs to make a propane leak easier to detect, so you can shut off supply immediately, stop using the grill, and clear the area.
• Although the risk of carbon monoxide is low when using a BBQ outdoors, it is not entirely eliminated. Learn to recognize the signs of CO2 poisoning and take appropriate action.
• Store propane tanks in an upright position, in a spot where they are unlikely to be knocked or bumped to prevent any safety risk.
Help to Reduce Winter Driving Hazards
Black ice, virtually impossible to see to those walking or driving on it, is one of the most feared hazards of winter. The accident rate on black ice can be up to 5 times higher than on dry surfaces, and 4 times higher than on wet surfaces. Stopping distances for vehicles on ice is almost 10 times that of stopping distances on a dry surface. Drivers are encouraged to install winter tires which radically outperform all-season tires in all cold weather driving conditions. They offer greater control and shorter stopping distances, and can result in auto insurance premium discounts ranging from 2% to 5% on average.
The Ontario government’s “Track My Plow” program, which helps people track the location of snowplows in their area, is in place in all of the provinces 20 winter maintenance areas. A new forecast road condition feature to Ontario 511, the MTO’s helpline, predicts road conditions based on weather forecasts, precipitation, wind, and temperatures to help drivers plan their routes.
These problem-solving tips may come in handy. No scraper? Use a credit card to scrape frost off your vehicle’s windshield. Frozen vehicle door lock? Hand sanitizer applied to your key before putting it in the lock will allow the door to open. Stuck with rear wheel(s) spinning? Tuck your vehicle’s front floor mat(s) under the rear wheel(s) for traction.