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                                                                                                       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. 
Additional Tips
•    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.

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What To Do When Water Damage Happens

In 2018, severe weather events cost the Canadian insurance industry $1.8 billion in insured losses – the 4thhighest in Canadian history, with 2016 seeing a record $3.6 billion in losses, and water damage making up a large part of the figure.  More homes have finished basements, complete with big-ticket items and high-end furnishings, leading to ever higher replacement costs. Water damage, coupled with a shortage of contractor availability, means major lifestyle disruption and higher costs for consumers. If, despite your best efforts, you experience water damage in your home, follow these steps:

·       Don’t touch electrical wires, appliances or devices.

·       If  the sanitary sewer backs up into your basement, don’t flush the toilet or turn on any taps, even if you have installed a backwater valve. This will only cause further flooding.

·       Keeping safety in mind, take all reasonable measures to prevent further loss or damage to your property.

·       Separate damaged property from undamaged property, and prepare an inventory of what has been lost or damaged.

·       Take photos of damaged property.

·       Keep receipts of any clean-up costs incurred (e.g., wet/dry vacuum rentals, cleaning supplies, etc.)