Are You Prepared

Protecting Your Home While You Are Away

Protecting Your Home While You Are Away

HOME PROTECTION TIPS Unfortunately, no one is completely immune from theft. Whether you’re looking to protect your home while you are away on vacation or simply away at work, your first line of defence is to thwart burglars. Use these suggestions to help protect your home while you are away: Install motion sensor lighting around your home and garage. Place automatic timers on your lights and set them for different times for different rooms. Do not leave your valuables such as jewellery, art work or electronics sitting out in plain view. Hide these items in inconspicuous places such as old laundry detergent boxes. Place “Beware of Dog” and home alarm signs in your yard. Even if you do not have a dog or an alarm, this may deter potential thieves from trying to enter. Alert friends and neighbours when you…read more →

April showers bring May flowers…and flooded basements, too

April showers bring May flowers…and flooded basements, too

When it comes to preventing flooding in your home, sump pumps are among the most valuable tools at your disposal, especially during heavy rainfalls or snowmelt season. Learn how sump pumps work and how you can keep yours flowing smoothly all year long. What is a sump pump? A sump pump is a device that picks up water from your basement (specifically from the sump pit, a hole in the lowest part of the basement floor, where runoff from your home’s weeping tile collects) and pumps it safely away from your home’s foundation. Sump pumps are especially helpful in rural areas and regions prone to flooding, where rainwater and melting snow can’t easily drain into a municipal sewer system. How do sump pumps work? Once the water in your sump pit rises to a certain level, it raises a floating…read more →

Cyber Attacks Hit Small Firms Hardest

Cyber Attacks Hit Small Firms Hardest

More than half of 3,000 firms surveyed for a new report commissioned by Hiscox said they experienced a cyber attack in the past year and two in five have had to deal with two or more. The specialty insurer commissioned Forrester Consulting to survey executives, managers and IT specialists in the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Larger companies, particularly those in the U.S., were targeted most often. But smaller firms were hit hardest. “While big firms incur the highest costs in nominal terms, the financial impact of cyber attacks is disproportionately high for the very smallest companies,” Hiscox said in its first ‘Cyber Readiness Report.’ “Small businesses also appear more complacent than their larger counterparts however, with 29% saying they changed nothing following a cyber security incident compared to larger firms (20%).” In terms of adopting key cyber security initiatives, the…read more →

10 Holiday Safety Tips for Businesses

The holiday season is here, which means more and more businesses will be decorating their offices and hosting holiday parties. Before your business gets into the festive mood, it’s important for you to take extra precautions during the busy holiday season and offer employees an end-of-the-year refresher course on safety. To accomplish this, keep in mind the following holiday safety tips: Ensure that any seasonal hires are familiar with safety procedures, their surroundings and responsibilities. Offer refresher courses on ladder safety and proper lifting techniques to ensure that, when it comes time to decorate, employees remain safe and healthy. Avoid using real candles in your decorations, opting for safer, battery-powered candles instead. In addition, try to use less flammable decorations, including items made of paper or cardboard. Keep all decorations away from heat or other ignition sources. Practise safe use…read more →

Home Maintenance Tips for Fall

Performing a handful of annual fall maintenance tasks can ensure your home is safe and ready for the colder months ahead. Insulate water pipes in areas exposed to cold temperatures. Check the roof to ensure that it can withstand the wear and tear of winter and that it won’t collapse under the weight of wet leaves, ice and snow. Clean gutters and downspouts to keep debris from accumulating. Clean and/or replace the furnace filter. Check and repair caulking around doors and windows that show signs of deterioration to prevent heat from escaping. Have the chimney inspected for deterioration that could make it unsafe for use.

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