Campfire Safety

Camping season is something Canadians proudly take advantage of every summer with our picturesque landscapes and great weather. Heading to the woods and experiencing all the fun memories camping brings is a staple in our country. Activities like going for a hike, fishing on one of Ontario’s thousands of lakes or gathering around the campfire for ghost stories and s’mores, can bring a ton of excitement to your summer. Ending your day with a warm glowing fire is most camper’s tradition to ending the day. Properly building and extinguishing your campfire is crucial to lowering the risk of an accident.

Campfires are at high risk for injury if not handled with care and proper supervision. An unwatched or carelessly built campfire can result in a dangerous situation that could have been easily avoided by following these helpful tips:

 

Preparation

Being prepared is crucial when building a fire. The first step is knowing whether you are allowed to even do so or not. A fire ban may be in place due to the weather and the potential for wildfires to start. There should be postings by Ontario Parks or local rangers that indicate if there is a fire ban or not, typically indicated by a coloured gauge. The wind is also another weather factor to consider as strong winds and flames create greatly unsafe conditions that can lead to an injury. Should an injury take place, it is critical to handle everything that follows with care and caution. The experts at Dye & Russell are fully prepared to help you on your road to recovery, beginning with a free claim assessment.

 

Location

After ensuring that there is no fire ban you can move on to picking the best spot for you and your loved ones to gather around. Picking a site that is close to the water and sheltered from the wind is key in creating a safe space. Limiting the possibility of fire spreading and having access to water in case of a spread or burn emergency could save lives if an accident occurs. Our lawyers at Dye & Russell are experienced with injuries involving campfires and utilize their in-depth knowledge towards getting what you deserve.

 

Building

Once a spot is chosen it is time to prep the area–build your fire away from anything that may be flammable such as tents, dry/dead grass, unsafe chemicals, or overhanging branches. The ground should be even to build a pit with a perimeter of 10-feet or more to act as a safety zone.

After your logs are in place you are ready to start your fire. Gather some crumpled paper or a fire starter to light the logs and do not use any flammable liquids such as gasoline. Injuries involving gasoline and campfires can be traumatic and can even result in death. Remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL if ever caught on fire and in danger of being burned. If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury it is critical you reach out to a professional injury lawyer like the ones at Dye & Russell to have your claim assessed.

 

Extinguish

Never leave your campfire unattended. Once it is time to turn in for the night make sure to extinguish the flames properly and safely. The best course of action is to allow the wood to burn down to ashes and then douse the remains with water while stirring to ensure everything is out and cooled. Camping and conversations around a campfire are memorable for years to come, so it is best to follow these safety tips to make those memories good ones.

 

Accidents do occur even when precautions are taken– If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the professionals at Dye & Russell today for your FREE Claim Assessment and more helpful resources. Reach us toll-free at 1-877-883-6171 or visit us online to speak with a live agent. Your road to recovery is important to us.

 

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Boating Safety Tips: What You Need To Know

The warmer months are here and that means enjoying the sun and summer activities. Boating is incredibly popular with things to do like tubbing, water skiing, fishing, or swimming out in the lake. These are all fun things to de-stress and enjoy this sunny season, but nevertheless, it is crucial to be aware of boat safety rules and regulations. According to the Canadian Red Cross there are over 125+ preventable boating-related fatalities that happen across Canada each year.

If you are your loved ones are planning on enjoying some time on a boat this summer, then here are some ways to prepare for the ride and minimize the risk of injury:


Make a Checklist

It is easy to get caught up in the excitement of getting out on a boat— having a thorough checklist to go over before taking off is a great way to be prepared for any possible emergencies out on the water.

Check the Weather

Take a look at the local weather forecast. The days leading up to your departure is crucial to ensuring you are aware of any possibly changes that could put you in danger. Avoid strong or rough winds, darkening clouds, temperature fluxes, or changes to the waves. Getting caught in a storm can result in serious injury to you or your passengers. If you find yourself in this position our lawyers at Dye & Russell know what to do to get you the compensation you deserve. Do not delay, contact us today if you have sustained injuries or damages on a boat in Ontario.

Develop a Float Plan

Inform a family member or marina staff of your contact information and emergency plan of action. Letting someone know this information along with trip destinations, the warning or help signals to be used, and your boats registration information can be critical in getting you to safety if an emergency occurs. Even the most experienced boaters can sustain injuries or be involved in accidents out on the water. Dye & Russell has the experience to help in your boating accident personal injury case.

Have your tools ready

There are many items that you need to have onboard to ensure everyone is safe while out on the water. Some items and equipment you will need but are not limited to:

  • Life jackets
  • First aid kit
  • Sunscreen
  • Food and water
  • Proper identification, licenses, boat documentation
  • Cellphone and wireless charging bank
  • Electrical tape
  • Emergency flashlight
  • Distress signals
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Extra fuel
  • Emergency paddles
  • Blankets

Wear A Life Jacket

Did you know the Red Cross reported that less than 50% of Canadians always wear their life jackets when boating? Life jackets are crucial in the prevention of accidental drownings and even help in preventing hypothermia when exposed to cold water conditions for too long.

Besides being a legal requirement, another reason to have life jackets on board is for individuals that may not know how to swim or are generally weak swimmers. In the event of an accident where flooding occurs and your boat begins taking on water, the risk of a slip and fall injury increases. Wearing a life jacket can save a life if someone were to slip and fall into the water or experience a head injury.

Exploring the many great lakes and waters that Canada has to offer is exciting but knowing proper boat safety is key in achieving an accident-free summer. There are many opportunities for injury with all of the different types of activities to enjoy in or on the water, knowing who to contact in the wake of an accident will reduce the stress and anxiety related to your injury.

 

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact the professionals at Dye & Russell today for your FREE Claim Assessment and more helpful resources. Reach us toll free at 1-877-883-6171 or visit us online to speak with a live agent. Your road to recovery is important to us.

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Tips & Tricks: Bike Safety Basics

Cycling is a great way to get around—it gets you from point A to point B all while keeping you fit and helping the environment. Some studies have even shown that it is the safest mode of transportation, particularly for young adults. Even so, around 7,500 cyclists suffer severe injuries every year in Canada, while 70, 000 are treated in emergency rooms for injuries related to cycling, according to the CBC.

Over half of the Toronto population cycles, that’s 54% of Torontonians. Luckily, the Toronto Cycling Network Plan is working on making Toronto a more bike-friendly city. Hopefully, Canadian cities will one day be as welcoming to cyclists as European cities, where cyclist injury and death rates are substantially lower. As this eco-friendly method of transportation becomes more popular, cyclists and drivers will become more aware of their places on the roads and fewer accidents will occur.

Until then, there are many things cyclists can be aware of to ensure their safety on the roads. Here are some bike safety tips and tricks based on facts from the CBC and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation:

Where you can and cannot ride

  • Cyclists must stay as close to the right side of the road as possible, especially if you’re slower than other traffic.
  • Cyclists cannot ride on controlled-access highways, such as Ontario’s 400-series highways
  • Cyclists are only allowed to walk their bikes through pedestrian crossovers.

Where and when it’s best to ride

If cyclists aren’t planning to ride to and from work, they should avoid riding during the afternoon rush hour—17% of cyclist deaths and 23% of cyclist injuries occur during this time.

The worst time for a cyclist to ride is at night—30% of cyclist deaths occur at this time. Avoiding busy cities and intersections is ideal for a cyclist’s safety—despite traffic control signs, cyclists are more likely to be injured in an area with these features. Cyclists should also avoid rural areas where the speed limits are 80km/h or more—44% of cyclist deaths happen on these roads.

Wearing a helmet

It is illegal for any cyclist under the age of 18 to ride without a helmet.

For any cyclist under the age of 16, a parent or guardian must ensure that they are not riding without a helmet. Adults are not required to wear a helmet, although it is strongly recommended, as it lowers a cyclist’s chance of injury by 90%.

Additional cycling laws 

The following are changes made regarding cycling law after the passing of Bill 31- Transportation Statute Law Amendment Act , effective September 1, 2015: 

  • All drivers of motor vehicles are required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre, where practical, when passing cyclists on highways;
  • Persons who improperly open or leave opened the doors of motor vehicles on highways face increased penalties (commonly known as “dooring”).
  • The fine for non-compliance with bicycle light, reflector and reflective requirements will increase; and
  • Cyclists are permitted to use lamps that produce intermittent flashes of red light.

 

For more information on Ontario bike laws, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website. If you know of a cyclist who has been in an accident, have them contact us at our Ajax (905-427-2000) or Barrie offices (705-726-2146) for their free consultation.

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Water Safety Tips for Toddlers & Children

Teaching your kids to swim & understanding how to be safe around pools or open water is a responsibility every parent takes on. Knowing your toddler or child(ren) can swim can be comforting for parents, but it shouldn’t be your only strategy for keeping them safe.

You teach them to stop & look both ways before crossing the street, not to run out on to the road, to look for cars & where to safely cross the street, yet you wouldn’t leave your toddler or young child unattended playing by the road.

The same goes for pools, open water & even bathtubs. Drownings can occur in as little as 1.5 inches (4 cm) of water.

 

Supervision

A parent or guardian should always be present when toddlers & or young children are near water. They should always know where their child(ren) are & what potential hazards are nearby.

Creating barriers between the child(ren) & the water reduces the ability & likelihood that the child can reach the hazard. Fencing around a pool is a common method used to keep the area inaccessible. Self-latching or locking gates that are also self-closing add additional safety measures. Any gates or barriers should be regularly inspected to ensure they’re functioning properly.

 

Pool Rules

Having established pool rules can help instill the need for safety around the water.

The most common & well-known pool rule of them all is no running around the pool. A slip & fall is more likely to occur on wet surfaces & can result in serious injury.

Cleaning up the pool deck so it’s free from water toys or other pool accessories can minimize a child’s temptation to play in that area. It can also reduce the potential for someone to trip over the objects & fall into the water headfirst.

No adult, no entry. Teach them that entering the pool, lake, pond etc. can only be done once a parent has done so. This will enforce to toddlers & younger children that they shouldn’t be going in the water by themselves & that an adult needs to be with them to be in the water.

Follow through. If you say you’re going to go swimming, make sure you keep that promise. By following through with this promise, the child(ren) won’t feel as strong of a need to go near the water when you aren’t around.

 

Open Water VS Swimming Pool

Swimming at the cottage or in another open body of water is not the same as swimming in a pool at home or recreation centre. A swimming pool is a contained space where the elements can be controlled. Open water brings new hazards that swimmers are faced with. Strong currents, colder water temperatures, greater distances to land or shore, undertows, & even other watercrafts to name a few.

If you or a child has become caught in a river current or fast moving water, the Canadian Red Cross suggests rolling on your back & pointing your feet downstream. This is to avoid hitting any obstacles headfirst. When out of the strongest part of the current, swim straight towards the shore.

 

Lifejackets & Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Drowning accidents can be preventable. When worn properly, a Canadian approved standard lifejacket is designed to turn an unconscious person from their front, over to their back so their face up in the water, allowing them to breathe.

When buying a lifejacket for a child there are certain things you want to look for:

  • Canadian approval label containing the chest size or weight it is intended for
  • Large collars will help support a child’s head & give additional protection
  • A strap on the collar to grab on to
  • A secure strap that fastens between the child’s legs, so the device doesn’t slip off
  • Bright colours are more noticeable in the water; red, yellow & orange are preferred options

Having a lifejacket or PFD close by, even within reach, isn’t close enough. The need for adult supervision is always required around water & lifejackets or PFDs aren’t a replacement.

 

If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident your road to recovery is important to us. Fast dial #1000 free from your cell and our experienced team at Dye and Russell will get you the support you need.

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A Parent’s Guide to Water Safety

It’s finally here. The time of the year so many people wait for. Summer. Going on boat rides, getting ice cream and of course backyard BBQs are just a few past times many families enjoy during the summer months. Summer also means more people spending their days lounging by the pool, at the beach and by the lake.

Remembering to stay safe around water, especially with children, should always be a priority. Drowning is one of the most common causes of unintentional deaths in Canadian children according to The Canadian Red Cross.

So, before you take your kids to the pool, beach or around open water, make sure you read our guide on staying safe & preventing water related injuries and accidents.

  • Designate a supervisor

Many drownings and water related accidents happen due to a lack of supervision. Having someone keeping an eye on children near any source of water (that means bathtubs too!) allows for quick action should something take a turn for the worst. Keeping all young children and weak or non-swimmers in lifejackets while near water gives the supervisor additional reassurance of their safety.

  • Diving

Diving headfirst into a pool may seem like harmless fun but it can lead to serious injury if you’re not careful. Never dive into a pool, or allow divining to occur, without first knowing exactly how deep the water is. Check your surroundings for signs indicating the depth or ask the pools owner/lifeguard. Be sure to have the conversation with your children about diving in the shallow end, making sure they understand all the pool rules.

  • Open Water

Floating down a river on a hot summer day can be a fan favourite when it comes to summer activities. However, one thing most people don’t consider is how strong the current can be. Simply standing or wading in the water can cause weak or non-swimmers to be swept away quite quickly. Make sure you know what to do if you or a child were to get caught in the current.

 If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Brain Injury Awareness Month: Preventing Injuries

June is an exciting month. Spring is in the air and summer is just around the corner. It’s also Brain Injury Awareness month and with that comes a number of opportunities to shed light on brain injuries and ways to help prevent them.

Did you know that more than 20, 000 people each year are admitted to the hospital with serious brain related injuries? In 2016 – 2017 alone approximately 46, 000 children went to the emergency room and were diagnosed with a concussion.

Making sure situations such as sports or recreational activities are safe for everyone helps reduce the risk of injury. The key being prevention and awareness. You’re the first line of defense!

Here are 4 things you should know about preventing brain injuries.

  1. Seat Belts

When you’re in the car, no matter how far the drive may be, wearing your seat belt is a top priority.  A significant number of injuries and deaths happen as a result of car accidents and about 50% are prevented thanks to seat belts.

  1. Reduce Distractions

Cell phones are the number one cause of distractions among drivers. When you’re behind the wheel staying focused on the road should be the only thing that’s important. Put the phone down, whatever it is can wait. Your life is more important than the text you just got.

  1. Child Safety

Kids are always getting hurt and bumping their heads on whatever is around. Take steps to prevent trips and falls by installing safety gates around stairs, using non slip mats in bathtubs or putting up window guards to prevent a potentially fatal injury.

  1. Helmets & Safety Gear

Both adults and children are susceptible to head injuries whether at work or during recreation. Make sure you wear a helmet during sports activities like baseball or football or the appropriate safety helmet on construction sites. Keeping your brain protected is one of the smartest things you can do!

 

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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Summer BBQ safety tips

There are few things that go better with a summer evening than a cold beverage and barbecue.  But barbecues can cause serious injury if they aren’t used properly. To help keep your summer full of delicious barbecue, as well as safe for you and your loved ones, here are some tips from The Government of Canada:

  1. Do a safety check

Before you start barbecuing it’s important to do a safety check of your grill—especially if it hasn’t been sitting unused for a long period of time. Look for blocked burners, damaged seals and leaks in the hoses or fittings. To check for leaks in the hose or fittings coat the hose and fittings with a soapy water solution. If bubbles form and grow that’s a sign of a leak.

Also, make sure your grill is clean. Cleaning excess grease or fat build-up on your barbeque can remove a source of fuel for dangerous flare-ups and help keep you safe.

  1. Make sure it’s in a safe location

How you position your grill can prevent a fire from happening. Barbeques should be used outdoors (not indoors or under overhangs, enclosures, etc.) in a well-ventilated area and be at least three meters away from any building on an even surface. Also, keep an eye out for other items nearby that could catch fire, like umbrellas or hanging baskets.

  1. Turn on with caution

Before you even think about grilling it’s important that you have read the instructions that came with from the barbecue’s manufacturer to get to know your grill and how to operate it properly.

While going about lighting your barbeque never have the lid closed or lean over the barbeque. If you’re using a gas-powered grill and it doesn’t light right away turn off the gas valve and wait for the gas to go away before re-lighting.

  1. Have the proper tools handy

Preventing an injury can only happen if you’re ready. Make sure you prevent burns by cooking with long-handled utensils and heat-resistant mitts. Have a spray water-bottle handy to help manage flare-ups and a fire extinguisher close in case of a fire.

Also, be very careful while using metal-bristled barbeque brushes. The bristles can come loose, stick to your grill and eventually end up in your food—which can result in serious digestive injuries. Inspect your brush and your grill carefully for loose bristles, throw away brushes when you notice bristles becoming loose, replace brushes often and consider buying non-metal barbeque brushes.

  1. Pay attention

While you’re barbequing never leave the grill unattended and be aware of how much food you are loading onto it. If a fire starts they spread quickly, so your grill needs constant attention. Also, over-loading your grill (especially with fatty meat) can cause an excess of oil or grease and create large flare-ups.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

 

 

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How to stay safe in the summer sun

Being outdoors and embracing the warm weather can be lots of fun. Whether you like going on adventurous hikes, swimming at the beach or playing in the backyard—whatever you love doing in the outdoors can create great memories for you and your loved ones. However, while the hot sun can make for a great time to be outdoors it also comes with dangers. It’s important to protect yourself, and those you love, to prevent an injury from happening and to stay safe.

Here’s what you should be paying close attention to:

Ultra violet rays

It’s important to protect yourself against the sun’s harsh rays while outdoors. Too much exposure to the sun’s ultra violet rays can cause burns, eye damage and lead to skin cancer.

While outdoors shade yourself by spending time in shaded areas rather than areas with direct sunlight and wearing a wide-brimmed hat (especially mid-day when the sun’s rays are strongest). Also, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and make sure to reapply it at least every 2 hours.

Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses that block a minimum of 99% of UV light and by never looking directly at the sun.

Heat

Exposure to heat can cause health issues like heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke (which is life-threatening). To help protect yourself and your loved ones from heat there are some simple preventative measures you can take.

While out and about never leave children or animals inside a vehicle as temperatures can rise quickly to dangerously hot levels. While you’re outdoors, wearing clothing that is light in colour and weight, as well as loose-fitting, can help you avoid absorbing the sun’s rays with dark colours. Also, staying hydrated is very important. Make sure to have lots of fluids with you to drink while avoiding caffeine and alcohol.

Try to avoid strenuous activities and scheduling events during the midday sun and heat. Check in on friends and family that don’t have air conditioning, and who spend much of their time alone. If you don’t have air conditioning finding air-conditioned locations that you can go to during midday heat (like cooling centers, libraries or malls) is a great way to avoid heat related illnesses.

While you can protect yourself from the sun while you’re out and about this summer, unfortunately sometimes you can get injured in other ways. If you or someone you love has been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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How to be safe on a jog

Summer jogging is a great way to stay fit without shelling out big bucks on a gym membership. It’s also a great way to see more of your neighbourhood. Many areas of Ontario have jogging trails and paths of varying length and incline.

Staying safe on a jog, however, can be a challenge. By following some safety steps, you can greatly reduce your risk of injury while on a run. You might not know about many of the safety risks you could face while jogging. Here are some helpful tips on staying safe on a jog.

1. Bring some basics

When disaster happens, be it injury or crime, what you’re carrying can be vital and even save a life. Bringing a phone with you on a jog can mean a way to call for help. A phone can also be a map if you’re lost. Carrying some form of identification can come in handy in case of an emergency.

Other basics for jogs include water, keys, a whistle and even mace (if jogging in a wild or unsafe area). Much of this depends on when you’re jogging, how long the jog is and where it’s happening. It’s always good to be overprepared rather than underprepared.

2. Don’t jog alone

Bringing a jogging buddy can greatly reduce the risk of injury. Wild animals are less likely to attack, and someone may think twice about committing a crime if it’s double the risk. Bringing another jogger also means that if injury happens there is someone to call for help, give a statement and ensure immediate danger is minimized.

This is also a great way to enhance the overall jogging experience and motivate yourself to jog faster and longer.

3. Be traffic safe

Traffic collisions are a common cause of injury to joggers. For joggers, there are ways to avoid traffic-related injuries. By facing oncoming traffic, you have more of a chance to see an approaching vehicle and you improve your response time significantly. For vehicles, this gives them a clear view of you, meaning collision is less likely.

Wearing brightly-colored clothing, such as glow-in-the-dark clothes or runner’s lights, can reduce risk of injury as well. Most of all, don’t jog on the road at night.

4. Know yourself

Jogging is physical activity and we all have limits. It’s good to be ambitious with your fitness plan but also be realistic. If you’re planning to do a marathon distance on a jog, bring enough water to last you and maybe a small snack, especially if your blood sugar drops routinely. Account for distance back home on the jog.

On the jog, monitor yourself. If you’re struggling, don’t force yourself to finish a jog that’s going to injure you. It’s better to slowly make progress than injure yourself and make no progress at all.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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A parent’s guide to pool safety

With summer making its arrival in Canada, pool season has begun. Pool safety is an important topic this time of year. According to the Lifesaving Society, hundreds of Canadians die each year from drowning. Parents, take note – for children under 10, drowning is the second leading cause of preventable death and children under five are the most at risk of drowning.

So, before you, or your children, dip your toes into the backyard pool, it’s important to review some pool safety tips.

1. Appoint a supervisor

Children of all ages require active supervision when in the pool. This means a parent/guardian who is placing their whole attention on the water. Accidents can happen quickly, and a rapid response time is critical. Don’t be fooled by Hollywood films – drowning is quiet and splashing or screaming doesn’t occur. The attention of a parent/guardian can be the difference between life and death.

2. No diving in shallow pools

Most backyard pools are not deep enough for diving, no matter the age of the diver. This is a frequent cause of injury. It’s important to do your own research into what your pool’s size allows. Establish clear rules with your children about diving in the pool, especially in the shallower end. Some parents choose to put up signage, which is available from many hardware stores, as a reminder. Most importantly, talk with your kids and make sure they understand your family’s pool safety rules.

3. Ensure proper fencing

Small children’s curiosity can lead to drowning by falling into pools. Multiple items are available for purchase which can prevent unsupervised access to water by young children. Examples include latching gates and four-sided fencing. It’s important to comply with any local fencing bylaws in your area so make sure to research these before you open your pool for the summer.

4. Arms’ reach matters

For children under 5, it’s important to keep them within arms’ reach when in the water. While supervision may be sufficient for older kids, younger children require the physical support and balance of a parent. This is a great opportunity to teach your kids the basics of swimming and create lasting memories.

If you have been injured, and need legal assistance, call #1000 on your cell phone for free. We will offer you a free claim assessment.

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