Water and Electricity Are a Lethal Mix!

Water and Electricity Are a Lethal Mix!

MISSISSAUGA, ON, With the significant flooding expected or already occurring in some areas including the Grey-Bruce and Parry Sound – Muskoka regions, the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is reminding Ontarians that there is a heightened risk of electric shock when water makes contact with electrical systems that could result in serious injury or death.

If you have to evacuate your property in advance of a flood, switch the main breaker in your electrical panel to the “OFF” position to ensure the power is off upon your return home to potentially flood damaged electrical equipment.

If flooding has occurred, follow these electrical safety steps; it could save your life, or the lives of first responders and utility personnel working in the area:

If you experience flooding on your property:

  • Do not assume that the area affected by the flood is safe.
  • Stay out of your basement or property if you know or suspect water has risen above the level of electrical outlets, baseboard heaters, furnace or was near your electrical panel. Electricity can move through water or wet flooring and cause a severe electrical shock.
  • In the event that flood water has risen above outlets, baseboard heaters or your furnace, covered power cords, or near the electrical panel, contact your local electric utility immediately and arrange for them to disconnect power to your home.

If flood water contacts the electrical system inside your home, cottage or other buildings on your property, it may be damaged and you need to follow these safety steps:

  1. If the flood water has risen above outlets, baseboard heaters or your furnace, covered power cords, or above or near the electrical panel you should have your electrical system assessed and repaired by a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC).
  2. Do not plug in or attempt to use electrical appliances contacted by flood waters until they have been checked or serviced by a Licensed Electrical Contractor or appliance service provider. Call a Licensed Electrical Contractor, or contact the manufacturer or dealer for the nearest service location.

Assessing the safety of your electrical system after a flood
ESA strongly recommends you hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor to evaluate your home’s electrical system to determine if it is safe. You can find a Licensed Electrical Contractor at www.esasafe.com in the Customer section under Hire a Contractor.

  • The contractor will file for an electrical permit with the ESA so there is a record of the work;
  • When the contractor completes the work, the contractor will notify ESA and the ESA Inspector will confirm work has been done safely and power can be reconnected;
  • ESA will inform the utility that it is safe to reconnect; the utility will reconnect when it is able to do so.
  • After the work is done, ask the contractor for a copy of the ESA Certificate of Inspection for your records and insurance.

ESA reminds all homeowners and businesses, including restoration companies, to ensure that power has been disconnected to the entire property before entering to avoid shock and electrocution. This includes flooded basements and outbuildings that contain electrical equipment or are connected to the electrical system.

For more information or to find a Licensed Electrical Contractor in your area visit www.esasafe.com and use the Contractor Look Uptool directly from the homepage.

About the Electrical Safety Authority
The Electrical Safety Authority’s (ESA’s) role is to enhance public electrical safety in Ontario. As an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario, ESA is responsible for administering specific regulations related to the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the licensing of Electrical Contractors and Master Electricians, electricity distribution system safety, and electrical product safety. ESA works extensively with stakeholders throughout the province on education, training and promotion to foster electrical safety across the province. More information on the Electrical Safety Authority can be found at www.esasafe.com, throughhttps://twitter.com/homeandsafety and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ElectricalSafetyAuthority.

SOURCE Electrical Safety Authority

Make Your Own Good Luck This St. Patrick’s Day — Plan for a Sober Ride Home

OAKVILLE, ON–(Marketwired – March 15, 2016) – If you’re raising some green pints in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada are asking you to arrange a sober ride home.

“Rely on good planning, not luck, to get home safely from your St. Patrick’s Day celebrations,” said MADD Canada National President Angeliki Souranis. “Call a cab, take public transit or arrange a designated driver. It only takes a few minutes to plan ahead, and it can prevent a tragedy.”

Hundreds of people are killed and tens of thousands are injured each year in impaired driving crashes.

“The deaths and injuries caused by impaired drivers are entirely preventable,” said Allstate Canada President and Chief Executive Officer Ryan Michel. “Driving impaired is an unacceptable choice that endangers the safety of everyone on our roads and in our communities, so I encourage everyone to make sure their ride home is a sober one.”

Anyone who needs a safe ride home from a St. Patrick’s Day gathering can check out MADD Canada sponsor THE RIDE Taxi and Transit app for fast and easy transportation options. Simply download THE RIDE app on your smartphone to book nearby cabs and plan your best transit route anywhere in Canada. And you can always dial #TAXI (#8294) on any cell phone to connect to the first available taxi company or a preferred one. For more information, visit http://gettherideapp.com/ and http://www.poundtaxi.com/.

MADD Canada and Allstate Insurance Company of Canada would also like to remind Canadians about the Campaign 911 program and the importance of reporting suspected impaired drivers to police. Promoted via signs, billboards, public service announcements and other materials, Campaign 911 provides the public with information on the possible signs of an impaired driver, tips on what to do and safety reminders. For more information, visit madd.ca.

About MADD Canada
MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) is a national, charitable organization that is committed to stopping impaired driving and supporting the victims of this violent crime. With volunteer-driven groups in more than 100 communities across Canada, MADD Canada aims to offer support services to victims, heighten awareness of the dangers of impaired driving and save lives and prevent injuries on our roads. To learn more, visit www.madd.ca.

About Allstate Insurance Company of Canada
Allstate Insurance Company of Canada is one of the country’s leading producers and distributors of home and auto insurance products, serving Canadians since 1953. The company strives to keep its customers in “Good Hands®” as well as its employees, and has been listed four years in a row on the Best Employers in Canada list. Allstate Canada is committed to making a positive difference in the communities in which it operates and has partnered with organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada), United Way and Junior Achievement. To learn more about Allstate Canada, visit www.allstate.ca.


  • For more information, contact:
    Angeliki Souranis
    MADD Canada National President

    Kevin Wilson
    Senior Communications Specialist
    Allstate Insurance Company of Canada

RBC earns two top honours at 2016 Family Wealth Report Awards

TORONTO, March 11, 2016 /CNW/ – RBC won two awards at the third annual Family Wealth Report Awards in New York City. In addition to being named the best “Canadian Private Bank” for the third consecutive year, RBC was also awarded top honours for “Best Public Relations Campaign.”

“It’s a great honour to have RBC Wealth Management recognized in these categories by the industry,” said Doug Guzman, group head, RBC Wealth Management and RBC Insurance. “We’re a top choice for wealthy families because of the deep expertise, broad resources and comprehensive wealth management approach we offer to truly help our clients realize their financial goals.”

For a third consecutive year, RBC was named best “Canadian Private Bank.” This award marks another successful year for RBC Private Banking as it received similar accolades at the 2016 Euromoney Private Banking and Wealth Management Survey for a ninth consecutive year, as well as at the 2015 Global Private Banking Awards for a fourth consecutive year.

“We are extremely grateful for the recognition among our peers as the top Canadian Private Bank for a third consecutive year,” said Jennifer Tory, group head, RBC Personal and Commercial Banking. “Our Private Banking group is a gateway to the resources of RBC to create both a comprehensive and an individually tailored private banking experience for our clients, bringing the best of RBC to each and every high net worth client.”

The Family Wealth Report Awards also recognized RBC for “Best Public Relations Campaign” for the promotion of A Force for Good: How Enlightened Finance Can Restore Faith in Capitalism, a book written by RBC Wealth Management – U.S. CEO, John Taft.

The Family Wealth Report Awards celebrate best-in-class providers of private banking and wealth management services, with winners selected by a panel of judges based on their demonstrated innovation and excellence during 2015.

About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management is one of the world’s top five largest wealth managers*. RBC Wealth Management directly serves affluent, high net worth and ultra high net worth clients globally with a full suite of banking, investment, trust and other wealth management solutions, from our key operational hubs in Canada, the United States, the British Isles, and Asia. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third party distributors to institutional and individual clients, through its RBC Global Asset Management business (which includes BlueBay Asset Management). RBC Wealth Management has more than C$777 billion of assets under administration, more than C$561 billion of assets under management and approximately 4,648 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers, and trust officers. For more information, please visit www.rbcwealthmanagement.com.

*Scorpio Partnership Global Private Banking KPI Benchmark 2015. In the United States, securities are offered through RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Bank of Canada. Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 37 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, we contributed more than $100 million to causes around the world.

Read more at http://www.stockhouse.com/news/press-releases/2016/03/11/rbc-earns-two-top-honours-at-2016-family-wealth-report-awards#YSy7rViH4ebdtOBA.99

It’s time to change the clocks: Here are eight ways to avoid losing sleep this weekend

It’s time to change the clocks: Here are eight ways to avoid losing sleep this weekend

This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 13, 2016

The time change officially takes place at 2 a.m., but you don’t have to spring out of bed and move the big hand on your clock ahead an hour. The change is automatic for most smartphones, computers, tablets and other digital devices.:)

“Some people have difficulty adapting to the one-hour change,” says Dr. Clete A. Kushida, medical director of the Stanford Sleep Medicine Center. “Sleep deprivation can affect attention and vigilance, learning and memory.”

It can also affect your health. Dr. Alon Yosefian Avidan, director of the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, says “recent data shows that the rate of heart attacks spike during the first Monday after daylight saving time.” Car accidents and injuries can increase as well, he added.

Here are their eight tips for navigating the time changes that come twice a year:

1. Anticipate the shift. Try going to bed earlier for one to two nights ahead of the time change.

2. Load up on Zzzzs. You don’t want to be sleep-deprived ahead of these time shifts. Getting seven to eight hours of sound sleep a night ahead of the change will make for a smooth transition.

3. Skip the alcohol and caffeine. These substances will just lead to fragmented sleep.

4. Use sunlight to your advantage. Pull back the curtains and get lots of the sunshine in the morning, and you’re more likely to feel alert during the day and sleepy at nightfall.

5. Conversely, limit bright light exposure at night. Why? It will disrupt your sleep. This means no computers, TV, and tablets, at least, two hours before bedtime.

6. Avoid long naps. A brief power nap is OK. But anything longer will disrupt your sleep and delay the transition to the new schedule.

7. Make your bedroom a haven for sleep. Keep your bedroom dark, quiet, well-ventilated and at a comfortable, slightly cooler temperature throughout the night.

8. Create a relaxing bedtime routine. Read a relaxing book; listen to soothing music.

Source: LA Times

Edited by ^pm

How to avoid breaking the bank on your March Break getaway

How to avoid breaking the bank on your March Break getaway

Canadian staycations, European adventures and some American destinations round out the list of March Break vacations this year.

Even with the low Canadian dollar there are still many great places to visit. No matter where your holiday plans may take you, CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) recommends the following cost-saving travel tips:

  • Use an experienced and knowledgeable travel agent to help keep you on budget.
  • Prepay in Canadian dollars for accommodations, car rentals, attraction tickets and city tours.
  • Set a daily budget for incidentals to help keep the cost down.

“If you are thinking about staying close to home this year, it is the perfect time to discover your own country and explore everything from the great outdoors to big cities with old world charm,” said Silvana Aceto, Media Relations Consultant, CAA SCO.

Popular Canadian March Break destinations:

  • Whistler, British Columbia
  • Lake Louise, Alberta
  • Muskoka, Ontario
  • Toronto, Ontario
  • Quebec City, Quebec

If travellers have their heart set on a stateside vacation, there are some special offers for Canadians including resort discounts and a free night stay for those heading south of the border to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Scottsdale, Arizona.

For those looking for a little more bang for their buck, European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Spain offer a wide array of attractions, culture, entertainment and nightlife without having to break the bank.

Meanwhile, for expert travel advice and all your travel gear, visit a CAA Store near you.

For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and member savings for our 2 million members.

SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario

Don’t let electrical nightmares dash your reno dream

Don’t let electrical nightmares dash your reno dream

A great home renovation has two parts: what you see and what you don’t. Homeowners want beautiful design and function, and they need safe electrical systems behind their shiny new walls. The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) and design expert Kimberley Seldon have joined forces for Power Your Reno – a new program to provide Ontarians with expert advice for renovations that are both stunning and safe, hosted at www.poweryourreno.ca.

“In 25 years as a designer, I’ve learned what’s behind your walls is just as important as what you put on them,” says Seldon. “Many of today’s hottest kitchen trends – coffee bars, super pantries, feature backsplashes – have electrical implications that are too often overlooked or considered late in the planning process. Not planning up front can mean big trouble and extra costs later.”

Electrical considerations are a must when it comes to planning a successful renovation project. Despite the fact that more than 25 per cent of electrical home fires are caused by faulty wiring and equipment, only 51 per cent of Ontarians are aware of the legal requirement to hire a Licensed Electrical Contractor (LEC).

Six top tips for powering a kitchen reno:

Kitchens are the most popular, complex, and often most expensive renovation project for homeowners. Many of today’s design trends have hidden electrical considerations.

  1. Don’t forget about the lighting plan
    Although a detailed floor plan and elevations are vital, equally important is a lighting plan (which factors in electrical and switching requirements and helps avoid those ill-placed outlets and lighting controls). A proper plan will help you determine your electrical needs and assist in getting a specific, itemized quote from an LEC.
  2. Electrical requirements don’t have to be an eyesore
    By law, there must be an outlet within 900 mm of any given point along your backsplash. To integrate outlets more seamlessly into your design, consider matching switches and outlets to your backsplash. Another option is a pop-up style outlet. An LEC can help identify the right outlets based on your design plan.
  3. Power your counter
    Peninsula and fixed island counters that are not against a wall require outlets installed in the cabinet structure, which means you’ll have to accommodate for wiring – another reason why an electrical plan in the early stages of design is so important.
  4. Plan the perfect “appliance garage”
    Receptacles enclosed within cabinetry – what is sometimes referred to as an “appliance garage” – will require a special interlocking switch that turns off the power when the door is closed. This will need to be considered for your “super pantry” or maybe even your coffee station if you are planning to have enclosed appliances.
  5. Make sure your electrical system can power your dream kitchen
    The age and quality of your electrical could make or break your reno dream. All major appliances require a dedicated outlet. Adding hard-wired espresso machines, sub-zero fridges, televisions, double ovens, and other small appliances may require additional circuits and/or amperage.
  6. Hire an LEC
    If you are hiring someone to do electrical work in your home, by law, it must be an LEC. That’s the case if you’re hiring someone directly, or if you are relying on your general contractor or designer to hire the subcontractors. Always ask for a certificate of inspection when the electrical work is complete for insurance and resale purposes, not to mention peace of mind.

From arming homeowners with more kitchen advice online and the right questions to ask when hiring an LEC, to providing advice on showcasing their space with the perfect lighting, Power Your Reno is a unique renovation resource that matches electrical tips with design inspiration.

Power Your Reno at the National Home Show on March 18
Homeowners who want to hear directly from Kimberley Seldon will have an opportunity to do so when she takes to the stage at 2 p.m. on March 18 as part of a panel discussion at the National Home Show in Toronto. Seldon and Steve Smith, a General Manager and electrical safety expert from ESA, will engage in an insightful Q&A session on the electrical implications of some of today’s most popular kitchen design trends.

About the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)

The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is an administrative authority acting on behalf of the Government of Ontario with specific responsibilities under the Electricity Act and the Safety and Consumer Statutes Administration Act. ESA’s primary activities are: identifying and targeting leading causes of electrical safety risk; ensuring compliance with regulations; promoting awareness, education and training; and collaborating with stakeholders to improve the state of electrical safety in Ontario. More information can be found at www.esasafe.com

For further information:
Electrical Safety Authority Media Relations
905-712-7819 or Media.ESA@electricalsafety.on.ca

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