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Decorating your yard before Halloween

Excerpted article was Written by Stephanie Fereiro | Economical

Halloween is just around the corner. Whether you’re going for a simple setup of cobwebs and cornstalks or building a haunted graveyard on your front lawn, taking a little extra care while you do it will not only help your decorations stay put, but it could also help you prevent a liability claim (which could come up if one of your visitors tripped on a topsy-turvy tombstone, for example). Consider these tips as you prepare your property for All Hallows’ Eve.

Decorating your yard before Halloween

  • Beware of tripping hazards. Keep in mind that many of your trick-or-treaters will likely be wearing masks, which could limit their visibility and make it tougher for them to make their way to your front door. Make sure your decorations and any electrical cords are placed away from your main walkways and stairs to prevent trips, and check that your steps and railings are in good repair.
  • Secure your skeletons. When hanging or placing decorations outside your home, secure them carefully so they don’t blow away or come loose and fall onto your walkways. This includes decorations that are placed on your lawn and your porch (like foam tombstones or scarecrows, for example).
  • Follow the directions. If any of your decorations came with instructions, be sure to read them carefully — and follow them. (E.g., string lights may say they’re intended for indoor use only. If that’s the case, only use them indoors, as using them outdoors may be dangerous.)
  • Go for fog. If you’re looking to create a spooky, foggy atmosphere, consider using a fog machine instead of dry ice, as dry ice can cause burns when touched. If you must use dry ice, be sure to keep it out of reach of visitors.

Last-minute to-dos for Halloween night

  • Light it up. If you’re planning on handing out treats, leave your outdoor lights on (and be sure to replace any burnt-out bulbs) so trick-or-treaters know you’re home and can see a clear path as they make their way to your door.
  • Don’t play with fire. Consider using no-flame battery operated candles to light up your jack-o’-lanterns. If you’d prefer to use real candles, place them in an area that will be out of reach for children and dogs, keep them away from wooden surfaces and flammable decorations, and don’t leave them unattended. If you’re using any string lights or decorations that require electricity, inspect the wires ahead of time to ensure they’re in good condition and don’t overload your circuits, as this could lead to a fire.
  • Keep your pets contained. Make sure your cats and dogs are in a secure area where they won’t be able to sneak out when you open the door for trick-or-treaters. Not only could your pet scare those little goblins, but he could also get spooked by all those costumes and run off — or into a busy street.

These are just a few ways to prepare for a safe and spook-tacular Halloween. Once you’ve decorated your yard, remember to design safe costumes for the kiddos and map out a route for your trick-or-treating trekif you’re planning on heading out for the night.

How to prepare your yard for a safe and spooky Halloween

ICBC urges caution as pedestrian injuries nearly double

ICBC urges caution as pedestrian injuries nearly double

Almost double the number of pedestrians are injured in crashes from October to January as the weather changes and daylight hours decrease.*

That’s why today, ICBC is launching a pedestrian safety campaign with police and TransLink to urge pedestrians and drivers to stay safe as crashes with pedestrians spike at this time of year.

Pedestrian safety is a serious concern in B.C. – they’re the most vulnerable road user to be injured when a crash occurs. Drivers should take extra time to look for pedestrians before turning especially near transit stops, avoid distractions and be ready to yield.

Pedestrians can help stay safe by making eye contact, watching for drivers turning left or right at intersections, and using designated crosswalks.

ICBC, TransLink and community policing volunteers will be handing out reflectors and safety tips in high pedestrian traffic areas across the province to help pedestrians stay visible.

This year’s campaign features online advertising that reminds drivers: you see pedestrians when you really look for them.

Learn more with ICBC’s infographic and tips.

Quotes:

Chief Constable Neil Dubord, Chair of the B.C. Association of Chiefs of Police Traffic Safety Committee

“This is the time of year when police see an increasing number of crashes involving pedestrians. We all have a part to play to make our streets safer. Drivers should know that distracted driving and failing to stop for people walking at intersections are some of the top factors in crashes with pedestrians. Pedestrians also need to be careful and aware. We encourage them to take out their headphones and take a break from the phone when crossing the road. Reflective gear, particularly on anything moving such as arms and legs, helps pedestrians be far more visible to drivers.”

Derek Stewart, TransLink Director of Safety and Emergency Management

“Everyone needs to be on the lookout for pedestrians, especially at this time of year when daylight hours are decreasing and weather conditions are changing. Pedestrians should never assume that they can be seen, even when using a crosswalk. Step out onto the street only when there’s certainty that it’s safe to do so. It’s vital that we all work together to avoid accidents or injuries involving pedestrians.”

Lindsay Matthews, ICBC’s Vice-President of Public Affairs and Driver Licensing

“Even when drivers proceed with caution, it’s hard to see pedestrians at this time of year when visibility is poor. Crashes with pedestrians are highest between 3pm and 6pm every day, when most of us are commuting home from school and work. Please focus on the road and leave your phone alone. It’s time we all do our part to create a safer driving culture in B.C.”

Regional statistics**:

  • In the Lower Mainland every year, on average, 2,300 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • On Vancouver Island every year, on average, 390 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • In the Southern Interior every year, on average, 280 crashes involve a pedestrian.

  • In the North Central region every year, on average, 87 crashes involve a pedestrian.


Editor’s note:
Pedestrian involved crash statistics for B.C. communities are available upon request.

*In B.C., 1,200 pedestrians are injured in crashes between October and January and 670 pedestrians are injured between May and August. ICBC data based on five year average from 2014 to 2018.

**ICBC data based on five-year average from 2014 to 2018.

“Hold on” for today’s Great BC ShakeOut – Nearly 1 million registered!

VANCOUVER, Oct. 17, 2019 /CNW/ – Join almost a million British Columbians as they “Drop, Cover and Hold On” during today’s 2019 Great British Columbia (BC) ShakeOut. The BC Earthquake Alliance and Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) are working together to present Canada’s largest earthquake drill on Thursday, October 17, at 10:17 a.m. Registration is already at a record high, and last-minute registrations may push the number over 1 million registrants.

Register today and encourage your family, friends and colleagues to do the same at www.ShakeOutBC.ca.

The Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General for BC, will be part of a media launch for the event today at Irvine Elementary School in Port Coquitlam. He said, “If you live in an active earthquake zone, knowing what to do when the shaking starts could save your life. ShakeOut is an important annual reminder to drop, cover and hold on, and I encourage all British Columbians to take the time to participate.”

Most of coastal BC is at high risk for an earthquake. There is a one-in-three chance that a significant earthquake will strike southwestern BC in the next 50 years. Participating in an emergency drill like ShakeOut, along with having an emergency kit and plan, is key to preparing ourselves and our families for earthquakes.

“Earthquakes don’t make appointments. We have to be ready when they arrive. Practising ‘Drop, Cover and Hold On’ builds muscle memory and is a great way to be prepared to survive and recover quickly,” stated Naomi Yamamoto, President of the BC Earthquake Alliance.

ShakeOut BC has been holding events since 2011, yet many people in the province still don’t know what to do in the event of an earthquake. To help better educate British Columbians, ShakeOut BC has created a series of informational videos that are available to share on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and can be found using the hashtag #DontBeLeftOut.

“Everyone should be prepared to take immediate action once the shaking starts. By working together, we can make British Columbians safer and better prepared to cope when disaster strikes,” added Aaron Sutherland, Vice-President, Pacific, IBC.

Note to Editors:
If you work for a TV or radio station that will be airing the Great BC ShakeOut drill, celebrate your station’s commitment to earthquake preparedness by listing its name on the ShakeOut BC website. Just fill out this form.

About ShakeOut BC
ShakeOut BC earthquake drills help people at home, school and work practise how to be safe during an earthquake and provide an opportunity for everyone to improve their overall preparedness. By participating, you, your family, your co-workers and millions of others will be better prepared to survive and recover quickly following an earthquake. As of today, 65.6 million people worldwide are registered to participate in the October 17 drill, including more than 970,000 British Columbians currently registered to participate. Last year nearly 910,000 British Columbians participated.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada’s private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

If you require more information, spokespeople from IBC and the Great BC ShakeOut are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

www.ibc.ca

Earthquake: just 8% of Quebecers think their home is at risk

This is the month of the Great ShakeOut, and the Insurance Bureau of Canada is unveiling the results of a recent poll showing that just 8% of Quebecers think their home is at risk of damage because of an earthquake.

Know the risk to be better prepared
Of concern also is that 33% of them believe, mistakenly, that they are insured for earthquake risk, while only 4% of policyholders actually have coverage for this risk.** “These results are worrying when we know that Quebec has already experienced strong magnitude quakes and that the risk of a new one is only too real. The impact would be significant for the citizens affected and for the Quebec economy”, noted Pierre Babinsky, Director, Communications and Public Affairs, at IBC.

Virtual reality to create risk awareness
IBC’s awareness activities are ongoing and it is innovating to offer a unique virtual reality experience that allows participants to experience the impact of a quake from home.

The realistic experience and emotions created will allow Quebecers to experience the very real consequences of a quake in a home. “We fine tuned this tool so that it offers a realistic immersion for the participant. It’s a way of drawing attention to personal and material safety issues resulting from a quake”, added Mr. Babinsky.

The experience will be presented to the media and the public on October 16, 2019. For more information, please check our media invitation (in French only).

Three steps to protect yourself
Drop, Cover (under solid piece of furniture) and Hold On! These are the three steps to take in case of a quake, and the virtual reality experience shows how relevant they are.

In fact, these steps are practiced during the Great ShakeOut, an international drill held every year. There is still time to register free of charge on line to take part in this simulation on October 17, at 10.17 a.m.

* SOM Inc. poll carried out for Insurance Bureau of Canada, October 2019
** Earthquake coverage is added to the home insurance policy under an endorsement.

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada, which groups the majority of Canada’s P&C insurers, offers various services to consumers in order to inform and assist them when purchasing car or home insurance, or making a claim. For all other information, go to our website at bac-quebec.qc.ca/en/

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

Related Links

https://bac-quebec.qc.ca/

Glaring Fog Lamps

glaring fog lampsOne of the most common complaints I hear that is not about a moving violation concerns the use or misuse of lights on vehicles. Here is one of them: “What is really starting to annoy myself and many others is people driving with their fog lights on during clear nights or even during the day. Is this not an infraction? These lamps are often unreasonably bright.”

I agree with this reader, I also find many fog lamps unreasonably bright, even during the daytime. What’s to be done about it? The following information may help you to use these lights effectively and avoid causing problems for others.

First, let’s be sure we are all on the same page. Fog lamps are identified by the SAE F marking on the lens, or a B above the circle with the E in it on European lamps. In B.C. you are allowed two fog lamps that emit either white or amber light. They must be mounted on the front of the vehicle, below the headlamps, but not more than 30 cm below. When you switch them on, the parking lamps, tail lamps, licence plate lamp and, if required, clearance lamps must also illuminate.

Fog lamps may be used in place of headlamps if atmospheric conditions make the use of headlamps disadvantageous. Otherwise, fog lamps may be used at any time of the day or night and in fact are used as the daytime running lamps on some vehicles.

Vehicle lighting at the time of a vehicle’s manufacture is regulated by Transport Canada. Specifically, Technical Standards Document 108, which details construction, performance and location of lamps and reflectors.

Here in British Columbia, lighting use and maintenance is regulated in Division 4 of the Motor Vehicle Act Regulations. Essentially, it requires that the lights and reflectors that a vehicle was manufactured with must still be there and function as originally intended. Dimming of headlights and the times that vehicle lights must be used are also set out here.

I suspect that the unreasonable brightness comes from improper aim. Fog lamps must be adjusted and aimed so that, at a distance of 8 m from the lamp, the centre of the beam is at least 10 cm below the height of the fog lamp. Oddly enough, there is no tolerance specified as too low but anything higher than horizontal is too high.

There are other reasons that could contribute to problems. The use of LED replacement bulbs in housings designed for filament bulbs is one of them, along with using higher wattage filament bulbs than is intended. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure publishes an inspection and approval protocol for vehicle lighting to help inspection facilities decide what to pass.

It is a good guide to follow if you are considering making modifications to your vehicle’s lighting system.

Scott Marshall from Young Drivers of Canada has some good tips on using your vehicle’s lights and fog lights when the weather is bad in this video:

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