ATV Safety Tips

As warmer weather approaches, more people will be using all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) for recreation. While riding an ATV is a fun activity, they can be extremely dangerous. In fact, in the last 10 years, there have been hundreds of ATV-related deaths across Canada.

Here’s how to keep you and your family safe while operating an ATV:

  • Read the operator’s manual and attend ATV instruction classes before riding.
  • Wear gloves to reduce vibration pressure and to improve grip.
  • Wear boots to maintain balance and control, protect feet and legs from debris, and maintain sound footing.
  • Wear a long-sleeve shirt and pants to avoid burns and scratches.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for wildlife, pedestrians, other ATVs and hazards, such as rocks, branches and unstable surfaces.
  • Drive at safe speeds, taking weather conditions and the terrain into account.
  • Never carry additional passengers, or operate an ATV while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Always ride the right size ATV by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

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Home Maintenance Tips for the Summer

Keeping up with seasonal repairs upkeep not only shows pride of ownership, but can reduce the risk of costly and preventable home expenses. Prepare your home for the summer with the following considerations.

Home Exterior

  • Check all window and door locks to make sure they are secure. Open and close them, and apply lubricant when they are hard to open.
  • Inspect your roof and gutters, clean out gutter debris and check shingle integrity.
  • Inspect your home’s foundation, sealing cracks, and leveling yard depressions with compacted soil.
  • Check wooden structures, such as decks and steps, for rotting, loose wood, or exposed nails.

Home Interior

  • Hire a qualified heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) contractor to tune up your air conditioning unit.
  • Examine electrical outlets and cords for potential fire hazards, such as frayed wires.

Garage

  • Examine your garage door to ensure that it is in proper working order.
  • Declutter by reviewing the contents of your garage. Donate or dispose of items you no longer use or need.

Driveways and Walkways

  • Inspect your pavement for cracks and holes, and remedy them. This can go a long way in preventing accident slips, trips, and falls.

These tips are brought to you by Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions.

Motorcycle Safety

There are more than 672,000 registered motorcycles and mopeds in Canada. Though they are a popular transportation option, motorcycles are also dangerous.

In 2015 alone, 200 motorcyclists died as a result of accidents, according to a study by Transport Canada.

To remain safe, motorcyclists should practice the following safety precautions:

  • Test drive your motorcycle before you purchase it to ensure that you can properly control it.
  • Take a motorcycle safety course.
  • Be mindful of the weather and road conditions at all times.
  • Wear a helmet and other safety gear.
  • Follow posted speed limits.
  • Exercise extreme caution when you are carrying passengers.
  • Do not drink alcohol before or while operating a motorcycle.

By utilizing the above tips, you can ride with confidence and avoid potentially deadly accidents.

The Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide¬†(CO) is a toxic gas that’s produced by the incomplete burning of any fuel, including gas, fire, and wood. Many of the appliances in your home produce harmless amounts of CO. However, if these appliances aren’t properly maintained or ventilated it could lead to a hazardous buildup of CO. And, because the gas is colourless, odourless, and tasteless, it can be easy to remain unaware of potentially dangerous levels of CO in your home.

Symptoms of mild CO poisoning can include flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, and weakness. However, exposure to large amounts of CO far an extended period can be fatal. Follow these steps to prevent a buildup of CO in your home:

  • Install CO detectors on every level of your home. Also, never assume that your home’s smoke alarms can also detect CO.
  • Check your appliances every year to ensure that they’re in safe working order and have sufficient airflow around them. Appliances that emit CO include fireplaces, water heaters, portable generators, power tools, lawn equipment, and gas- or wood-burning cooking appliances.
  • Never leave a car or other motorized vehicle running in an attached garage, even if the garage door is open.
  • Never rely on ovens, gas grills or other appliances to heat your home.
  • Contact a specialist to ensure that your chimneys, vents, and flues are providing sufficient ventilation to your home.

For more information on protecting your home from CO and other dangers gases, such as radon and natural gas leaks, visit our website at www.scrivens.ca or call us at 613-236-9101.

Removing Distractions BEFORE You Drive

Distracted driving is a serious and deadly problem. And, although many conversations about distracted driving focus on cellphones, the truth is that any distraction can be enough to cause a deadly accident. The following list includes some of the ways you can get rid of distractions and keep yourself safe on the road:

  • Get plenty of rest before you drive. Studies have shown that fatigued drivers perform just as poorly as those who drive while intoxicated.
  • Know where you’re going and the road conditions before you drive. Looking at a map or having to focus on the weather can take your attention off of the road and surrounding traffic.
  • Secure any items in your vehicle that may roll around. You may be tempted to reach for them while you’re driving.
  • Don’t use your cellphone or a hands-free device while driving. If you absolutely must contact someone, pull over to the side of the road first.

Not only can resisting the urge to drive distracted, safe driving can save you money!

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5 Ways to Improve Your Mental Health

Staying healthy is about more than paying attention to your physical body – your mental health directly influences how you think, feel, react, and maintain relationships. If you don’t take steps to promote your mental health, you may find that anxiety, depression, and irritability can take control of your life.

5 Tips to Improve Your Mental Health #MentalHealthWeek

Even if you haven’t been diagnosed with a mental illness, taking steps to improve your mental well-being can improve your physical health and help you maintain positive relationships.

Here are five tips you can use to help improve your mental health:

  1. Talk with those who care about you. Simply talking to friends, family members, or co-workers can help you overcome a personal problem and stay connected.
  2. Take a break from digital distractions. Although smartphones and other modern technology make it easy to stay connected with others, focusing too much on digital media can make it easy to ignore close relationships and the world around you. 5 Ways to Prevent Digital Overload
  3. Take care of your body. Your brain is still part of your physical, body, so it’s important to exercise regularly, maintain a health diet and get enough restful sleep.¬†Exercising the Body and Brain
  4. Set realistic goals and focus on taking the first step. Many projects or errands can seem overwhelming when taken as a whole. Try planning out steps for large tasks and concentrate on what you need to do first.
  5. Get help when you need it. Although there can be negative social stigmas about seeking help for mental or emotional problems, mental health professionals are trained to help manage stress and mental illnesses with therapy or medication.

These tips have been provided by Scrivens Insurance and Investment Solutions. Scrivens is an Ottawa insurance broker and investment advisor dedicated to promoting health and safety for everyone.

Earthquake Preparedness Tips

Earthquakes, one of Mother Nature’s most unsettling phenomena, are unpredictable and can strike without warning. That’s why it’s important for you and your family to learn how to prepare for an earthquake, and develop a plan to react quickly and safely if a disaster strikes.

Preparing for an Earthquake

  • Locate and learn how to use the shutoff valves for water, gas, and electricity in your home.
  • Prepare an emergency earthquake kit with warm clothing, non-perishable food items and bottled water to last you and your family for at least 72 hours.
  • Bold down and secure your water heater, refrigerator, furnace, and gas appliances to the wall studs.
  • Hold earthquake drills with your family members: Drop, cover, and hold on!

During an Earthquake

  • Remain inside of your home and seek shelter under a heavy table or desk; brace yourself inside a door-frame or inside wall.
  • Stay at least 2 metres away from windows and out of kitchens and garages, if possible.
  • Stay under the structure that is protecting you. If the shaking causes the table or desk to move, then you should move with it so you remain protected.
  • Do not panic, and anticipate what you should do next to remain safe.

Follow these guidelines to remain safe after the ground stops shaking:

  • Remain in your safe location for several minutes in case there are any aftershocks
  • Do not leave your home unless it is absolutely necessary to do so
  • Check your family members for injuries and administer first aid
  • Establish a temporary shelter area in your home away from areas that have severe damage