https://protectionplus.ca Business & Home Security Systems, Security Solutions ... and more Thu, 04 Jun 2020 22:46:39 +0000 en-CA hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.3 5 Cannabis Store Security Measures Required by Law https://protectionplus.ca/5-Cannabis-Store-Security-Measures-Required-by-Law Wed, 03 Jun 2020 16:50:32 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=26629 The post 5 Cannabis Store Security Measures Required by Law appeared first on .

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5 Cannabis Store Security Measures Required by Law

Cannabis store owners have a lot to consider before opening their shops, but it’s essential that security does not become an afterthought.

Providing protection for your inventory, staff and customers is of course a vital priority for any shop owner. But also, it’s against the law to go without such protection. Local laws require you to implement a range of cannabis store security measures before can open your doors to the public.

In this post, we look at some of those requirements in closer detail to help you identify the right solutions for your store.

Cannabis Store Security: What the Laws Say

Each of Canada’s provinces and territories have their own set of regulations for how cannabis is sold and consumed. For the purposes of this post, we’ll be looking specifically at Ontario, whose laws provide a good framework for cannabis store security.

Ontario’s laws are set forth under the Cannabis Licence Act, 2018 (CLA) and Regulation 468/18, which is regulated by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Here’s a quick overview of the rules regarding store security:

1) Stores must have video surveillance

The law dictates that “a secure, high-resolution surveillance system must be in place at all times.”

Additionally, it matters where your cameras are located and what they capture:

  • Cameras must capture the interior and exterior of the cannabis store 24 hours a day, including entrances & exits, pickup/delivery areas, sales floor, storage and point-of-sale areas.
  • All video recordings must be retained for 30 days or more.
  • Store owners are responsible for making sure these cameras are “functioning properly at all times.”

2) Store access must be secure

The CLA states that “all points of access to the premises must be secure and protected against unauthorized access.”

While the rules do not go into details here, cannabis store owners may want to consider measures such as:

  • Heavy-duty, commercial-grade locks
  • Access control systems
  • Entry systems and intercoms
  • Security bars for doors & windows
  • High-strength window film
  • Monitored alarm systems and glass-break detectors

3) Cannabis storage must be secure

Wherever cannabis is stored or handled, it must remain secure at all times and be accessible only to store employees.

The law specifies that this applies to every aspect of storage, including:

  • Display containers
  • Point of sale
  • Receipt of product
  • Destruction of product
  • Return of product to producer or to the Ontario Cannabis Retail Corporation

4) Cannabis can’t be visible from outside the store

Laws require cannabis store owners to ensure that “cannabis and accessories are not visible from the exterior of the premises.”

The store layout can partially solve this challenge. However, licensees may also want to consider additional security measures, such as tinted window film and other coverings that prevent people from seeing products from outside the store.

5) Display containers must be secure

Stores are permitted to use “sensory display containers” that allow customers to see and smell cannabis.

However, these cases must be kept locked and tamper-proof to prevent customers from actually touching the cannabis.

Choosing the right containers, with secure locking mechanisms, is critical for store owners to remain compliant.

Need help with your cannabis store security?

Contact our experts at Protection Plus for more information on security solutions that can protect your cannabis store and keep you in compliance with all applicable laws.

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Next-Gen Access Control in the time of COVID-19 https://protectionplus.ca/access-control-in-the-times-of-covid-19/ Wed, 01 Apr 2020 16:07:36 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=25649 Has the recent COVID-19 crisis caused you to rethink how you control access to your workplace? If you could revolutionize how you, your employees, guests, and customers enter your building, what features would that access control system contain? Well, keep...

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Has the recent COVID-19 crisis caused you to rethink how you control access to your workplace? If you could revolutionize how you, your employees, guests, and customers enter your building, what features would that access control system contain? Well, keep reading to learn what we can do today to take your workspace to the next level. Let us introduce you to Openpath.


1. Would you like the ability for Hands-Free Unlock of doors, not only for convenience but for hygiene? With Openpath you have several options for hands-free unlocking. Not only can you use a Fob or Card, but now by just having your mobile phone in your pocket or briefcase, you can unlock the door by touch the reader with your elbow or waving your smartwatch across the reader. Ask us about all the options.

2. Would you like the ability to suddenly Lockdown one or more doors in the event of an emergency? Would you like to have this capability from the convenience of your office or home? We can now make a LOCKDOWN PLAN a reality with our Openpath Access Control System.

3. Are you tired of meeting contractors or employees on-site on weekends, early mornings, or evenings just to unlock the door for them? With Openpath, you can open a door using your smartphone via Remote Unlock or text Guest Pass from the convenience of your home or anywhere.

4. Do you have multiple locations and want to manage them all from one login? With our Openpath cloud-based system, you will never have to worry about combining networks or paying your I.T. people for a VPN. You can access and manage from a login from anywhere, even from the convenience of your smartphone.

5. First Person In / Last to Leave – Admintators can configure entry schedules so that entry doors remain locked and secure until the first person arrives and performs an authorized unlock during the scheduled period. This is helpful should the office be empty during regular office hours for any reason. Similarly, authorized users on their Openpath App can use the last-to-leave feature to restore the entry to its secure setting if the office would be empty during a scheduled period.

6. Are you tired of tracking keys, paying for locksmiths to rekey doors when keys are lost, or employees leave and don’t return keys? Perhaps it’s time to consider going with an electronic solution to convert to keyless entry, with full reporting, scheduling, remote access and more.

7. Do you already have a legacy access control system, and you don’t want the cost of replacing everything? Openpath uses standard cabling, standard strikes, and maglocks, and is compatible with many 3rd party cards/fobs. Consequently, with Openpath, your cost to upgrade will be reasonable, and the benefits will be many.

8. Have you resisted going to electronic access control because you aren’t tech-savvy or don’t want the headache of doing all the administration and software updates? Today we can take away all the complicated, expensive, and time-consuming management of your system. Let us provide you with customer service, and tech support from 7 am to 11 pm. With our Openpath Access Control System, which utilizes “the cloud”, you will never again have to worry about updating software.


9. Would you like to avoid continually increasing I.T. invoices to manage your access control systems as well as your other technology in your workplace? With Openpath you won’t need to place a billable call to your I.T. people with support from Openpath from 7 am to 11 pm, and no software to update.

10. Do you want to be able to integrate other security technologies with your access control system? Openpath integrates with many of the solutions you already use, and you can add more. A great way to enhance your security at entry points is to integrate cameras with the access system, with video confirmation of who accessed the building, preventing things like tailgating or sharing of fobs or phones.

In recent times, we have seen how companies have had to adapt and change with the pandemic we are experiencing. Technology can be a huge help to make business more efficient, quicker to respond to emergencies, and more secure. In summary, the above 10 points above just scratch the surface of what the next generation of access control has to offer any business in Canada.

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When Free isn’t Free https://protectionplus.ca/when-free-isnt-free/ Wed, 16 Oct 2019 17:17:57 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=21847 When “Free” isn’t free…. In the consumer world, we live in; we are bombarded with sales pitches every day! Whether it’s on TV, Radio, Instagram or Facebook, businesses are trying to persuade you to buy from them. There are many...

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When “Free” isn’t free….
In the consumer world, we live in; we are bombarded with sales pitches every day! Whether it’s on TV, Radio, Instagram or Facebook, businesses are trying to persuade you to buy from them.
There are many great companies with great legitimate offerings. How do you tell the difference between a great offer and a “to good to be true” proposal?
From our experience, there is one word that should set off alarm bells in your head when it comes to consumer advertising offers. That word is “FREE”.
Over the years we have witnessed, many competitors use the word “free” in ads and promotions. Whether it’s a “free” alarm system or “free” camera or “free” doorbell camera, we know it’s at best a play on words, at worst.
We all know that for a Security Company, or any company, to stay in business, it must be profitable. Offering free products is not a path to profitability for any company. So, what does “free” really mean when you are looking for a security provider for your home or business? What should you watch out for? Here are a few tips that can help clarify your next purchase.
1. Many use the “free” give away of a product to entice you to purchase something more significant and more costly. In itself, there is nothing wrong with this approach, but realize the free bobble, is increasing the cost of the other purchase you are making. You are paying for it, just indirectly.
2. Long term service contracts are another way that a “free” product is paid for. With free Alarm System offers, free Hot Water Tank offers, etc. , unless you sign a long-term agreement, you won’t receive any hardware. Make sure you are aware of the terms of the contract. How long are you committed? How long is the warranty? Is the price guaranteed for the length of the contract? Contracts are a necessary way of doing business, but some can be onerous, and the terms may not meet your lifestyle or needs. Read the fine print before signing.
3. In today’s age of WIFI connectivity of so many devices, be careful that you are not signing away your privacy for the sake of a free trinket. If you must allow the provider to have access to your device or internet WIFI, think long and hard before you accept the offer. If you do take a “connected” device, make sure you read the instructions/reviews thoroughly and activate all the manufacturer provided security features.
4. Is the product offered a proprietary product? This question is particularly important when there is a service attached to the product, such as alarm monitoring. If you are unhappy with the service, will that product work with another provider?
5. Last but not least is the adage your parents and grandparents always repeated. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The benefit of today’s technology is the ability to research products and service products. Google sources such as the Better Business Bureau, Facebook, TrustPilot etc.. They provide great review platforms where you can read other customers experiences with a product or provider.
Your time, security and satisfaction is valuable. Consequently, choose carefully when making significant purchases. “Free” can be very expensive…

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Back To School Safety https://protectionplus.ca/back-to-school-safety/ Fri, 30 Aug 2019 15:26:49 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=21736 Back to School Do’s and Don’ts! It’s that time of year where every parent’s brain switches to Back to School mode. It seems like there is so much to do, and so little time! New backpacks, haircuts, and smartphones are...

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Back to School Do’s and Don’ts!
It’s that time of year where every parent’s brain switches to Back to School mode. It seems like there is so much to do, and so little time! New backpacks, haircuts, and smartphones are on your mind. But is safety and security on your radar? Here are a few “do’s and don’ts” to refresh everyone’s memory for the next few weeks.
1. DO give yourself plenty of extra time, at least for the first few days of the new school year. There will be many new pedestrians, cyclists and drivers on the roads, crosswalks and sidewalks. Kids can be unpredictable, especially when everything is new and exciting. DO SLOWDOWN and avoid distractions, keep your eyes on the road.
2. DO remember that the fines and laws for passing school buses has changed. Drivers can be charged if they pass a stopped school bus with its upper red lights flashing: First offence: $400 to $2,000 and six demerit points. Each following offence: $1,000 to $4,000, six demerit points and possible jail time (up to six months)
3. If you are dropping off kids at the school, pack some patience and ample time. DON’T double park and block others field of vision. DON’T block crosswalks and DON’T load or unload children across the street from the school, avoid having your kids walk between cars and buses. DO walk to school or Carpool to reduce the number of vehicles at the school.
4. Don’t Break Safety Rules Because You’re Late. Whipping your car around, getting your child to dash out of the car to reach the classroom before the school bell rings, or encouraging a “drop-and-dash” drop-off is the recipe for disaster in terms of child safety. You would rather your child receive a tardy notice than to be in an accident. Also, don’t use your cell phone in a school zone. It is a major distraction.
5. School buses will be back in circulation, it’s important to remember the rules around buses. DON’T pass a school bus when the lights are flashing. In any case, always proceed with caution around school buses.
6. Every year we hear of kids getting on the wrong school bus or getting lost on the first days of school. DO have your kids memorize home phone #’s and addresses. DO write your cell phone # on the inside of backpacks and kid’s jackets. Let your kids know where they can find this information and let them know it’s okay to share it with teachers, bus drivers, etc., if they are lost or confused.
7. DO consider Smart Locks for a door on your home, so your kids are reliant on keys. Many Smart Locks can be set to lock automatically, and some can send notifications when used. DON’T hide keys or leave back doors unlocked.
8. DO set your alarm system with a unique user code for your kids. This will help avoid false alarms, and can provide you with notifications when your kids leave and arrive home.
9. DO consider installing cameras inside your home and at your front door. Most camera systems can be set to send alerts to your smart phone and allow for livestreaming. It’s a great way to check in and see if the kids have arrived home safely. Many cameras also contain microphones for audio recording and listening as an added feature.

And here is a handy school year school year calendar for 2019-2012.

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SUMMER SAFETY https://protectionplus.ca/summer-safety/ Fri, 16 Aug 2019 18:54:28 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=21716 Summer Vacation Safety Tips! We have waited for a long time for Summer to arrive, and for those vacation days to kick in! Now comes the rush to prepare for that road trip or a few weeks at the cottage....

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Summer Vacation Safety Tips!
We have waited for a long time for Summer to arrive, and for those vacation days to kick in! Now comes the rush to prepare for that road trip or a few weeks at the cottage. Here are ten security tips to remember for a safe and secure vacation.
1. Make a list of “to-do” items. There is nothing better than having a checklist of things that you need to get done before you lock the door and head off on the summer road trip. Being organized will help make your journey stress free!
2. Tell your neighbours when you will be away and ask them to pick up the mail and flyers every day. Make arrangements to have the grass cut and ask your neighbour to park a car in your driveway regularly. Making your home look cared for and occupied will significantly reduce your risk of a burglary.
3. Call your alarm company and check that your emergency contact list is up to date. And ask them how to do a test of your alarm system. Test your system to ensure that the monitoring station is getting signals. Do this sooner rather than later to give time for a service call if needed.
4. Do NOT hide keys under a planter or the door matt. Thieves know all the “secret” hiding places for keys. A smart lock helps avoid tracking keys, and you can simply provide a code to a friend or neighbour when they need access. When you get home, erase the code.
5. We know the temptation is great for you and maybe your kids to share your destination and vacation photos on social media in real-time. It’s much safer practice to wait until you are home before sharing your fun photos and where you went.
6. Use the “lock” or “power off” feature on your garage door opener. Securing your garage goes a long way to securing your home. Close blinds on all garage windows, to avoid advertising your garage contents.
7. Make sure you put all your travel documents, passports, etc., in a safe place. Never leave valuables and Passports unsecured in a hotel room or car.
8. If you are planning a road trip, have your automobile fully serviced and checked. Nobody wants a vacation ruined or delayed by a vehicle break down.
9. When travelling to a foreign country or even an unfamiliar city, be wary of advertising that you are a tourist. Search online for local gov’t safety advisories and advice. Ask a hotel concierge or a reputable local, for safety advice and security risks; they should be able to give you tips on common local scams and areas to avoid.
10. Be wary of public Wifi. Don’t do banking or sensitive transactions using public unsecured Wifi. You could easily be hacked.

One of the biggest threats to personal or property security is complacency. Take a bit of time to do your due diligence before you depart. It can save you time and many headaches by preventing unfortunate incidents. Have Fun!

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Protect Your Home From Flooding https://protectionplus.ca/protect-your-home-from-flooding/ Tue, 30 Apr 2019 19:14:53 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=21002     How to defend against flooding in your home or businessOnce again, it’s spring in Canada, and the news is filled with images and stories of flooded homes, basements and businesses. The images are daunting and heartbreaking. In extreme...

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How to defend against flooding in your home or business
Once again, it’s spring in Canada, and the news is filled with images and stories of flooded homes, basements and businesses. The images are daunting and heartbreaking. In extreme cases, there is not much preparation that can be done, besides moving to higher ground. However, in many less severe circumstances, there are things that can be done for early detection and prevention. Here are some tips that can help!

 

 

  1. Assess your landscaping around your building. Overtime for many reasons, such as amateur landscapers, the grading that should move water away from the building’s foundation can be changed by the addition of flower beds etc. Spring is an excellent time to ensure that proper grading allows gravity to take the water away from your building is intact. Make sure flower beds etc. don’t block the flow of water away from your building.
  2. Your structure should also have well maintained and adequately installed troughs along your eaves and downspouts that direct water at least 6 feet away from your foundation. In older homes, some downspouts were connected to the weeping tiles, or home drains, these should be disconnected and capped. It can overwhelm the drains, and the water will back up into your basement. It also adds stress to the city sewers.
  3. Budget cuts have reduced street maintenance in many towns and cities resulting in storm drains that are covered in debris or blocked with sand and leaves. Check the street sewer grates near your home or office, and if some simple surface cleaning is required, do it, if the sewer appears to be severely blocked, notify your local city works department asap so it can be cleared professionally. Getting the surface water drained away quickly protects all the properties in the area.
    There are also things that can be done inside your home to prevent flooding and to minimize damage should a flood occur.
  4. If you are in an area vulnerable to flooding and high groundwater it may be wise to have a sump installed in your basement. If you already have a sump pump, consider installing a battery back up, floods are often simultaneous with storms and power outages, so a battery back up may save your basement from water damage.
  5. If your building is in a city or town with municipal water and sewage, you may want to consider installing a backwater valve. A backwater valve is a backflow prevention device used to prevent outbound water through a dwelling’s drain pipes from re-entering — “backflowing”—into a home. The valve contains a flap that allows water to exit the house but closes to prevent the backflow into the home. Some municipalities have subsidy programs that will help cover some or all of the installation cost of this valve.
  6. Your building’s water supply should have a shut-off valve where the supply pipe enters your building. Make sure this valve is in good working order (not seized up) and if you are leaving your place for extended periods, turn the supply off. This will prevent damage from a burst pipe in your absence.
  7. To limit your exposure to water damage, whenever possible put appliances, like furnaces, on pedestals to get them up off the basement floor. Keep all electric wiring and outlets as high as possible on basement walls. Try not to store heirlooms, and valuable documents in the basement, especially on the floor.
  8. Your home Alarm System can also help. If you haven’t already added water detection devices in the basement and your laundry room, it’s time to ask your service provider. These devices can prevent 10’s of thousands of dollars in water damage through early detection.
  9. Although the weather is warming up now, we know in Canada the winters are long. A significant cause of water damage is a burst pipe due to it being frozen. Add a low-temperature sensor to your alarm monitoring plan to alert you BEFORE your pipes freeze.
  10. Check your insurance policy. Many standard insurance policies have very limited or NO flood coverage. Ask about the cost to add flood insurance in your home, especially if you are in an ear prone for flooding.
    It’s essential to have a plan in place of what to do if the threat of flood occurs. If you need to evacuate the building have a list ready of “to do’s”. It should include taking essential documents with you including but not limited to: Home insurance papers, passports etc. and it may be a good idea to turn off the gas and electricity. However, contact local authorities for advice on what to do and where to go! Safety first!

 

 

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Cybersecurity for Your Business, Mitigating the Threats https://protectionplus.ca/cybersecurity-for-your-business-mitigating-the-threats/ Tue, 26 Feb 2019 20:11:55 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=20634 Whether you are a small or medium-sized business owner or manager, threats to the computer and online security of your company are real and change every day. Sometimes it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve when you have other...

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Whether you are a small or medium-sized business owner or manager, threats to the computer and online security of your company are real and change every day. Sometimes it’s hard to stay ahead of the curve when you have other concerns and challenges on your plate. But it’s important to have a Cybersecurity plan to prevent your company from being damaged by a security breach. Small businesses are more and more victims of data breaches. According to experts, these conditions arise as small businesses are not updating their security controls regularly. Here are a few things you can put in place to mitigate the security risks to your firm.
In almost every business, your data is an incredibly valuable asset to your business, consequently, it’s also valuable to hackers and thieves. Learn more here on some measures to take to keep your business secure.
1. Ongoing awareness and Cyberecurity training of your employees is paramount. It is a proven fact that a major cause of data breaches are employees in small and mid-size business. This is usually because of a lack of awareness regarding data security. Employees usually make innocent mistakes as they are not aware of how hackers operate. These innocent mistakes can be very costly, and fortunately many can be prevented with regular education.
Before giving out any confidential information, employees should check the legitimacy of the person or entity requesting the information. When working online beware of websites that don’t hold an SSL certificate. Steer clear of suspicious links and online ads, websites and emails. Emails may seem innocent, but attachments should never be opened from unknown people and sources. Hackers post links, disguised as a trusted source, to get hold of confidential data. When employees click on that particular link a virus is installed on their computer. This is how they get all the confidential data. Consequently, regularly updated virus protection software for Cybersecurity is a good investment.
2. Protect your data using strong passwords. When new staff are hired or let go, passwords should be changed. Hackers often attack passwords to get a hold of potential data. So to protect your devices like business computers, mobile devices, networks and accounts, the employees should change the default password to a strong one. A complex password is where a variety of characters are used. The password should be changed quarterly at a minimum.
3. Access to business computers should only be for authorized employees. You should create a specific user account for each employee. This creates accountability. This will also help restrict access to your business computers. It is also essential to limit the network access for computers in or around your location. Software that restricts and tracks attempts to access sensitive data, such as customers credit or identity info, should send alarms to management.
4. Maintain security on mobile devices. If your employee uses a mobile device to access company information while working, it increases your exposure to hacking and data breaches. Many companies now allow their employees to use their own device at work which increases the exposure to malware and many other issues related to Cybersecurity. Make sure your employees are using all the security features available on their devices, including password or fingerprint protection. Phones should be set to lock down after short periods of inactivity. If possible, It is better not to access business data on a personal device and to only access it on the official device which is equipped with cybersecurity tools.
5. For many small businesses, it is required to outsource some business services to 3rd party operators. This includes operations such as credit card processing, payroll, sometimes even to supervise the company’s security functions. This, of course, creates a vulnerability. The onus falls on the business management to ensure 3rd party vendors hired, are also doing regular due diligence when it comes to security. Thus, before working with any third party, it is essential to appropriately check their security standards and choose vendors that are committed to regularly updating security policies and procedures.
In summary, often the biggest threat to security is complacency. As daunting as it sounds at times to create secure business practices, it is much easier and cheaper to implement safe practices than recovering from a security hack or breach. The Benjamin Franklin axiom that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is as true today as it was when Franklin made the quote.

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Winter Safety and Security Tips https://protectionplus.ca/winter-safety-and-security-tips/ Fri, 25 Jan 2019 20:43:13 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=20485 Winter safety and security tips The winter season is often regarded as the season where more things will go wrong in and around your home. Insurance statistics tell us that your home is at much greater risk of a mishap...

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Winter safety and security tips
The winter season is often regarded as the season where more things will go wrong in and around your home. Insurance statistics tell us that your home is at much greater risk of a mishap or problem over the winter months. There are many contributing factors including but not limited too: Extreme weather which strains your home’s systems. Extended periods where your home is unoccupied. Much less daylight for an extended period of time. And less foot traffic in neighbourhoods.
There are things we can do to increase our defences against security and safety issues. Here are a few tips that may help keep your home and its occupants safer.
1. Enhance your outdoor lighting. New LED flood lights use much less energy and make it more affordable to keep your home’s entrances and driveway lit throughout the night. If you park your car outside, having the driveway illuminated reduces the chances of auto theft or B & E.
2. Avoid extended “warm-ups” of your vehicle when unattended. Most cars no longer require much warm up, and even when locked…and idling car is a great temptation to a car thief. Never let your car idle in your garage, the carbon monoxide emitted could be deadly.
3. Consider upgrading your alarm system to include environmental monitoring. Adding devices that monitor for falling temperature, and leaking water can prevent tens of thousands of $’s damage to your home. The number one cause of water damage is a broken pipe caused by being frozen. Add ‘Smart monitoring” and be able to check your home’s temperature from your smartphone at will.
4. With your furnace working overtime during cold spells, and windows and doors sealed to keep the cold out, your home is more susceptible to higher levels of Carbon Monoxide. CO is a highly poisonous gas, and the product of burning natural gas, oil, or from car exhaust. Have your furnace serviced annually which should include an inspection of your chimney for cracks. Its now also the law to have a working Carbon Monoxide detector in your home, it could also save your life. The detectors should be replaced every 8 years.
5. Fire is another serious concern for the winter months. Winter increases the chances of fire significantly. But a few simple changes and precautions will go a long way to reducing the risk of a home fire. Be careful with electric portable space heaters, never use extension cords to power them, use them for short term only. Barbecues and propane tanks should never be used indoors or even in a garage. If you use a wood stove or fireplace, only use seasoned hardwood. Any flammable objects should be at least a meter away from a heat source. Fireplace and wood stove chimneys should be cleaned at least once a year to prevent chimney fires. For fire detection make sure you have smoke detectors on every level of your home, it makes sense and is also the law. You can also upgrade your smoke detectors to be monitored. It also monitors for high heat in furnace rooms etc.
These 5 tips will go a long way to reduce the risks to your home. Now how about the home occupants? If the worst-case scenario happens and you’re snowed in or there is a blackout, you need to have an Emergency kit you can depend on that will keep you safe for a few days. It should include, some cash for emergency purchases, food and water to last a few days, a flashlight, extra batteries, a shovel, an alternative heat source like an emergency kerosene space heater, blankets and other important survival gear depending on where you live.

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Halloween Safety Tips – Happy Trick or Treating! https://protectionplus.ca/halloween-safety-tips-happy-trick-or-treating/ Fri, 26 Oct 2018 17:00:18 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=19697 How To Have a Fun and Safe Halloween Night As parents, we have been bombarded for at least a month on which Halloween costumes to buy, and which treats to give out. You may have already done the “Haunted House”...

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How To Have a Fun and Safe Halloween Night
As parents, we have been bombarded for at least a month on which Halloween costumes to buy, and which treats to give out. You may have already done the “Haunted House” decorations on your home. But have you considered all the safety precautions?
As costumes get more elaborate and expensive we still need to ask if they meet safety standards. In fact, there are many things we need to consider before sending the kids out for some good old-fashioned Trick or Treating!Halloween safety tips
It’s great to have such realistic and scary costumes available for purchase now. But it’s important to keep some safety top of mind. A big part of safety is being seen, so if possible pick light coloured costumes and attach reflective tape in various parts of the costume and on bags the kids will be carrying. Glow sticks and flashlights are also a great idea. There will be cars on the road, it helps immensely if drivers can see the kids.
The ability of your kids to be able to see is also important. So, if possible avoid masks or costumes that impair vision. Choose face paint as an alternative. While it may be useful for kids to carry a cell phone for emergencies, it’s important the device be tucked away in a secure pocket. Too many distractions increase danger. Kids need to be alert when crossing the streets etc. Show them how to make eye contact with drivers before crossing at intersections when cars are present.
We all know every “holiday” is expensive when you are a parent. We understand that “hand me down” costumes are great ways to manage a household budget. But make sure the costume properly fits the kids, with no loose parts that could cause a fall or vision impairment. It’s also best to avoid providing youngsters with potential weapons, like plastic swords etc. Keep it simple.
Planning a route is also essential for a fun and safe night. When you plan, you can minimize the number of street crossings. Avoiding darting back and forth across streets. Complete one side of a street, cross at an intersection, then come back and do the other side. It’s best to choose neighbourhoods close to home and familiar. Kids under 10 should have adult supervision, and the buddy system helps immensely. Work with your neighbours to spell each other off etc. It can be a great way to unify the neighbourhood.
When you head out, leave your pets at home. Pets are a huge distraction to kids and adults. The costumes and scary decorations can also be startling for dogs as well. It’s best to leave Fido safely at home. If you encounter animals while you are out, it’s best to leave them alone. They may not be kid friendly and may also be spooked by the costumes and noises etc.
At Your home, turn on all your outdoor lights, it helps keep your street and neighbourhood safe. It also sends a signal that you are welcoming the Trick or Treaters! Don’t forget to teach your kids how to identify homes that are open for business. A lit Jack O’ Lantern on the step or in the window is a sure sign, avoid houses that are dark and unlit. Kids should never go inside a strangers’ home, candy should be distributed through the door on or on the front porch. If not, leave and move on.

If you can avoid driving on the evening of Halloween, please do so, the fewer cars on the road the better. But if you must drive, slow down! Try to avoid neighbourhood streets when possible, and keep your eyes peeled for rogue kids walking and running. Make sure your running lights are on and leave your cell phone off and turn off your radio to reduce noise. You just cannot predict when a child may be distracted and run out. Keep all eyes and ears focused on driving!
While you may be creative, and perhaps a great baker, save those talents for your family and friends. For Halloween choose store bought individually wrapped, nut free, treats. This makes it much easier for parents to sort through the bundle of goodies that comes home with the kids. If you find a homemade treat or items with open or broken packages, throw it in the garbage. When something has obviously been tampered with, put it in a safe place, and promptly notify the police.
If you are decorating your home, avoid using real candles or tea lights, battery powered options are much safer. If you must use candles, make sure they are securely placed, and nowhere kids may come into contact. Many costumes and Halloween decorations are highly flammable, so avoiding any potential contact with candles is essential. October is also Fire Safety Month!
The final challenge for a great Halloween experience is for parents to avoid the temptation to raid the kids loot after the kids are finally in bed! Enjoy this fun family time.

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Back to School Safety Tips! https://protectionplus.ca/back-to-school-safety-tips/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 18:28:24 +0000 https://protectionplus.ca/?p=19641 Back to School Safety Tips! September is a busy time, wrapping up Summer vacations, and of course, the mad scramble to get the kids ready for the return to school. Where do you start? And most importantly, how do you...

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Back to School Safety Tips!

school bus safety

September is a busy time, wrapping up Summer vacations, and of course, the mad scramble to get the kids ready for the return to school. Where do you start? And most importantly, how do you keep everyone safe and secure? Here are some simple suggestions to help.

SAFETY TIPS

1. As a parent, give yourself plenty of time, especially on the first few days. Pack some patience and drive sensibly: Obey the posted speed limits, do not pass other vehicles, do not park illegally, change lanes, or make U-turns, while driving in a school zone.

2. If you are lucky enough to be in walking or cycling distance to school, do a dry run with the kids a few days before school starts so they can be familiar with the route. Choose the most direct route, with the least number of street crossings. If there is a route that will have a crossing guard, this is a good choice. If you are not walking with your kids, the buddy system using siblings or neighbourhood kids is a good idea.

3. Walkers should not use cell phones while walking and should not wear headphones or earbuds. It’s vitally important to be fully aware of the surroundings.

4. If your kids will be bused, make sure you have confirmed with the school and bus company about the route, and the approximate pickup and drop off time. Be early, and accompany your kids to the bus stop on the first few days!

5. Put your home phone #, and your mobile phone # on the inside of your child’s jackets and backpacks. Work on having them memorize your phone # and home address.

6. Make sure your kids know that it’s never appropriate to accept a ride from a stranger or even a known adult without the absolute permission of the parent.

7. Teach children about stranger danger: Make sure kids know not to talk to strangers on their way home from school, even if they seem friendly or helpful. They should never accept gifts or rides from strangers. It’s also important to teach them about strangers whom they can go to for help in an emergency, such as police, security, or other parents with children.

8. When kids are the first to get home. They need to make sure the house is locked before walking in. They should look for red flags that might signal an intrusion. If something seems wrong, it is wrong. Kids should go to a predetermined safe place, such as a neighbour’s house and call their parents.

9. Set up your alarm system with “Smart Monitoring” where the alarm system will automatically send you a notification when your kids enter their alarm code. If you have surveillance cameras, they too can send you a clip when the kids arrive home.

10. Have a plan for lost keys: Even responsible children can lose keys. A lost key in your neighbourhood is a security problem. Make it easy for kids to stay safe and secure by investing in a lockset that can be easily rekeyed or a keyless entry system.

Back to School Safety …

A big part of safety and security is awareness and education. It’s easy to be complacent; we like to believe we are safe in our homes and communities. However, to ensure we remain safe and secure, requires us all to maintain a level of diligence.

Have a great safe School Year!

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