Safety & Loss Prevention Tips


Check out this video for tips on checking your sump pump prior to the spring thaw from YouTube:  Sump Pump Check-up
See Intact Insurance  "Insurance Is Evolving"  Water Damage Checklist for ways to prevent damage inside & outside of your home.
"With winter fast approaching, kindly find attached our Risk Control Bulletins and Whitepapers designed to assist with cold weather related issues from burst pipes to preventing slip and falls. These bulletins contain important information to help identify various winter hazards as well as recommending appropriate safeguards." -- Patrick Edwards-Jones - Western Regional Manager of Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc. August 11, 2010 - Maintain your roof. Manage your risk. including the Roof Maintenance Checklist. May 11, 2010 - Avoiding Freeze-Ups and Malfunctions of Automatic Fire Sprinkler Systems January 20, 2009 - Averting Some Common Winter-Related Losses Bursting Pipes May 12, 2008 - Autumn and Winter Risk Control
Please see Intact Insurance brochure on Identity Theft Protection Another source of information is from Protection Power: Identity Theft Protection for Canadians
* This post is currently under development…
  1. Of course I look familiar. I was here just last week cleaning your carpets, painting your shutters, or delivering your new refrigerator.
  2. Hey, thanks for letting me use the bathroom when I was working in your yard last week. While I was in there, I unlatched the back window to make my return a little easier.
  3. Love those flowers. That tells me you have taste... And taste means there are nice things inside. Those yard toys your kids leave out always make me wonder what type of gaming system they have.
  4. Yes, I really do look for newspapers piled up on the driveway. And I might leave a pizza flyer in your front door to see how long it takes you to remove it.
  5. If it snows while you're out of town, get a neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house. Virgin drifts in the driveway are a dead giveaway.
  6. If decorative glass is part of your front entrance, don't let your alarm company install the control pad where I can see if it's set. That makes it too easy.
  7. A good security company alarms the window over the sink. And the windows on the second floor, which often access the master bedroom-and your jewelry. It's not a bad idea to put motion detectors up there too.
  8. It's raining, you're fumbling with your umbrella, and you forget to lock your door-understandable. But understand this: I don't take a day off because of bad weather.
  9. I always knock first.. If you answer, I'll ask for directions somewhere or offer to clean your gutters. (Don't take me up on it.)
  10. Do you really think I won't look in your sock drawer? I always check dresser drawers, the bedside table, and the medicine cabinet.
  11. Helpful hint: I almost never go into kids' rooms.
  12. You're right: I won't have enough time to break into that safe where you keep your valuables. But if it's not bolted down, I'll take it with me.
  13. A loud TV or radio can be a better deterrent than the best alarm system. If you're reluctant to leave your TV on while you're out of town, you can buy a $35 device that works on a timer and simulates the flickering glow of a real television. (Find it at
  14. Sometimes, I carry a clipboard. Sometimes, I dress like a lawn guy and carry a rake. I do my best to never ever look like a crook.
  15. The two things I hate most: loud dogs and nosy neighbors.
  16. I'll break a window to get in, even if it makes a little noise. If your neighbor hears one loud sound, he'll stop what he's doing and wait to hear it again. If he doesn't hear it again, he'll just go back to what he was doing. It's human nature.
  17. I'm not complaining, but why would you pay all that money for a fancy alarm system and leave your house without setting it?
  18. I love looking in your windows. I'm looking for signs that you're home, and for flat screen TVs or gaming systems I'd like. I'll drive or walk through your neighborhood at night, before you close the blinds, just to pick my targets.
  19. Avoid announcing your vacation on your Facebook page. It's easier than you think to look up your address.
  20. To you, leaving that window open just a crack during the day is a way to let in a little fresh air. To me, it's an invitation.
  21. If you don't answer when I knock, I try the door. Occasionally, I hit the jackpot and walk right in.
  Sources: Convicted burglars in North Carolina , Oregon , California , and Kentucky ; security consultant Chris McGoey, who runs; and Richard T. Wright, a criminology professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, who interviewed 105 burglars for his book "Burglars on the Job".   If you don't have a gun, here's a more humane way to wreck someone's evil plans for you... Wasp Spray. A friend who is a receptionist in a church in a high risk area was concerned about someone coming into the office on Monday to rob them when they were counting the collection. She asked the local police department about using pepper spray and they recommended to her that she get a can of wasp spray instead.   The wasp spray, they told her, can shoot up to twenty feet away and is a lot more accurate, while with the pepper spray, they have to get too close to you and could overpower you. The wasp spray temporarily blinds an attacker until they get to the hospital for an antidote. She keeps a can on her desk in the office and it doesn't attract attention from people like a can of pepper spray would. She also keeps one nearby at home for home protection...   Thought this was interesting and might be of use. Wasp And Hornet Spray on the heels of a break in and beating that left an elderly woman in Toledo dead, self defense experts have a tip that could save your life; Val Glinka teaches self-defense to students at Sylvania SouthviewHigh School . For decades, he's suggested putting a can of wasp and hornet spray near your door or bed Glinka says, "This is better than anything I can teach them." Glinka considers it inexpensive, easy to find, and more effective than mace or pepper spray. The cans typically shoot 20 to 30 feet; so if someone tries to break into your home, Glinka says, "spray the culprit in the eyes." It's a tip he's given to students for decades. It's also one he wants everyone to hear. If you're looking for protection, look to the spray. "That's going to give you a chance to call the police; maybe get out." Maybe even save a life.  
View the article by BDO Dunwoody. For further information please contact Bob McColl of BDO Dunwoody.
Effective January 25, 2010 we were alerted of a scam involving forged Drayden Insurance Ltd cheques. The cheques have been received by residents and or businesses in Canada, primarily for the amount of $3,800.00. There is no supporting information on the stub portion of these cheques nor is there any other documenation included in the envelope. Most of the envelopes appear to originate from British Columbia. These cheques are fraudulent. View an actual copy of one of these cheques. Authorities across Canada have been informed of this scam.
Click here to view the ICLR Handbook for Reducing Basement Flooding also visit their basement flood reduction website for further information. Basement Flood Maintenance Video (from the ICLR) - Backwater Valve Maintenance Posted with permission from the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR), by Dan Sandink.    
View the short brochure on Water Damage prevention. For more detailed information please see the following guide from Economical Insurance: A Guide to Help Prevent Water Damage.
Safety Tips to Reduce the Possibility of a Loss while you are away on vacation If you are going away on vacation, please consider these loss prevention tips!
  • Plan to have someone trustworthy check your house daily:
  1. To pick up your mail. You may even want to cancel your paper delivery.
  2. To check inside your house for any possible water leaks or heating problems (especially in the winter months)
  • Turn off the water to your dishwasher & washing machine
  1. You may want to have your water heater checked if it is more than 10 years old
  • To protect against damage from power surges, unplug major appliances. (ie: TV’s, computers)
  • To discourage possible intruders:
  1. Close all curtains or blinds
  2. Have your radio and lights in the home set on timers to turn on/off automatically
  • If you are not taking your vehicle, purchase a safety device to lock the steering wheel, while you are away.
Have a safe and enjoyable vacation!  
It has been reported recently that thieves are now using technology to more effectively “Help themselves” to your belongings. They will discreetly break-in to your vehicle, see photo below, and steal maybe 1 or 2 credit cards from a purse or wallet or a few other subtle items but most importantly they’ll get your “Home” address off your GPS system. This way they can stake-out your home and wait for a time when your vehicle isn’t there and break-in to your residence. This is why they want the initial break-in to your car to be unnoticed. Here are some Tips: - Remove your actual home address from your GPS system ASAP! - If you wish to list a "home address" choose the address of your local Wal-Mart or some other public building. - Make sure to park your vehicle in a highly visible place when leaving your car in a parking lot. - Do not leave valuables in sight inside the car. - Lock your pink card and registration in your glove box at all times. - Periodically walk around your car, daily if you are in a shopping center or other public parking areas. - Report thefts immediately.... Bank w/missing cheque numbers, Credit Card Companies, Police, and also your Insurance Broker. Take a look at a Red Deer Resident's Account of events who reported this to his Insurance Broker.
Please click here for Intact Insurance's brochures on Roof Protection: - "Take a Load Off" for personal homes and buildings. - for Commercial Buildings click here.
  1. Leaving your home for more than 4 consecutive days this winter? To keep your coverage valid ensure a competent adult checks your home daily, or alternatively maintain the heat and drain/shut off all water systems. For more details, check out the vacation safety tips tips below.
  2. Slips and falls are at an all time high and so are the related lawsuits. Please ensure your walkways are kept clean of snow & ice at all times.
  3. Cold winter driving can mean automobile breakdowns. Make sure your vehicles are properly winterized and you carry emergency supplies such as blankets, candles, flares, first aid kit, roadside emergency reflectors, etc.
  4. Winter driving means ice & slippery road conditions and a greater chance of accidents. Raise your headrests to a level even with the top of your head, slow down to a reasonable driving speed and ensure your tires are good for winter driving.
  5. Winter snowmobiling is great fun! Be safe though:
    • Alcohol & snowmobiling DO NOT MIX
    • Know your riding area
    • Keep your machine well maintained
    • Dress properly
    • Obey the law and follow the rules
    • Drive within your ability
    • Do not ride alone
    • Beware of darkness
    • Take great care over water
    • Exercise extreme caution in mountains – Avalanches Kill!
    • Also refer to the Alberta Snowmobile Associations’ safety tips listed under “Info Library” at
  6. Cold weather means cold vehicles; take the necessary precautions if you are leaving your vehicle running. Carry a spare set of keys, ensure your doors are locked and NEVER leave children unattended.
  7. This time of the year people often use their wood burning fireplace or candles. Do not leave these unattended and ensure they are completely out before leaving the house or going to bed.
  8. By making the top of your car seat headrest level with the top of your head you will greatly reduce neck and head injury if ever in an accident. A raised headrest will give your head and neck additional support.
  1. Summer is a great time for playing outdoors with your pet. However, did you know that you are liable for the actions of your pet and can be sued? Take the necessary precautions when your pet is in your yard and use a leash whenever you walk your dog. Review your liability personal limits today, to increase to $2,000,000 can be as little as $10 per year.
  2. Bringing out your trailer and hitting the open road in the summer is exciting. Ensure you do not forget to have your bearings and electrical checked every year.
  3. Reduce the potential loss to theft. Keep valuables in a safety deposit box at your financial institution and do not keep large amounts of cash at home.
  4. Boating season is upon us! Carrying liability on your boat is not mandatory by law; however it is something absolutely necessary. It can easily be extended from your home insurance for a small additional premium. Also be aware of any changes in Boat Licencing, check with any of our offices for more information.
  5. Summertime means holidays! Before leaving on your vacation arrange for a trusted and competent adult to take care of your yard and pickup mail, to make your home look lived in while you are away. No one wants to come back from holidays to find their home broken into. For more details, check out the vacation safety tips.
  6. Water activities are a great way to cool off and enjoy the summer. Whether it be boating, swimming pools or out on the beach always take the proper precautions. Use life jackets, keep slippery areas down to a minimum, provide adequate supervision and do not swim alone.
  7. You are responsible for what happens on your property. Spring is a good time to do a visual check of playground equipment, fences, decks, walkways, steps and the exterior of your home. Trip and falls are at an all-time high and may result in litigation.
  8. Winter can take its toll on your vehicle. Take your vehicle in for a spring tune up, check the tire wear, electrical, proper functioning of horns, lights and other safety features.
  9. While taking a walk, home or away, walk with awareness and appear confident. Take note of the people around you and give the impression of walking with a purpose. Do not walk in poor lit or isolated areas, stay away from alleys and use well-lit streets rather than shortcuts, where you may be alone and vulnerable. Always consult someone with local knowledge when in an unfamiliar area or region.
  10. Camping is the time to experience the outdoors. Leaving a campfire burning unattended can be dangerous to you, the people around you and the environment. Ensure all embers are out before leaving your campfire.
  • The limit of 12 years was selected because the average 12 year old has typically attained the height and weight of a small female (about 5' and 100 pounds) and has a tolerance to injury that is generally greater than that of younger children. He or she can fit better in the seat and obtain correct belt fit. By correct belt fit meaning that the shoulder belt passes over the centre of the clavicle (shoulder) and across the centre of the chest bone or sternum. In smaller children the shoulder belt will frequently rub against the neck or slip off the shoulder resulting in inadequate restraint of the upper body. The lap portion of the belt must lie low across the hip bones and not up into the soft region of the abdomen.
  • The serious airbag injuries and airbag fatalities that Transport Canada have investigated thus far have essentially all been due to children who were not correctly restrained. The most common error has been the placement of the belt behind the back where in the event of a crash involving airbag deployment there is nothing to restrain the upper body and prevent the head and neck from coming into contact with the airbag.
  • Children do come in all sizes and parents often may not always be able to place everyone in the rear seat. To determine who should sit in the front seat, Transport Canada recommends selecting the tallest child who fits the seat and seat belt the best (as described above) and who can understand and respect the rules that come with sitting in the front seat. These include:

1. Always wear the belt correctly even for short trips to the corner store. 2. Never place feet on the dash. 3. Do not lean against the door as the belt will not fit as well and some vehicles may be equipped with side airbags. 4. Sit up straight (no slouching) and no fooling around with the radio controls etc.

Click here to view a 5 minute US News Story showing some children sleep right through the ringing alarm.