TORONTO, June 11, 2012 /CNW/ - With the summer months come fun in the
sun, but the warm weather can also spell trouble. With thunderstorms,
floods, lightning, strong winds, tornadoes, and even talk of
hurricanes, Canadians should be prepared for severe conditions and the
aftermath that can sometimes accompany warmer weather.
"While the weather is often unpredictable, it's fairly safe to say that
all Canadians will experience a moderate to severe weather event in
their area sometime this season," said David Phillips, senior
climatologist, Environment Canada. "Therefore, it's important to remind
Canadians that they should be prepared wherever they might live."
CSA Group, a leading certification and testing organization committed to
public safety, wants to help everyone stay safe during the coming
summer months. "At CSA we are all about safety," said Anthony Toderian,
CSA Group. "The summer months are generally filled with quality time
spent outdoors with friends and family. Being weather aware and
summer-smart is easy if equipped with a few simple but essential tips,
which may ultimately help Canadians stay safe throughout the summer and
fall storm seasons."
STRONG WINDS & TORNADOES
Canada has the second most number of recorded tornadoes in the world,
with between 60 and 80 events each year. CSA Group encourages Canadians
to keep in mind some essential safety tips when it comes to recovering
from severe wind damage:
Seek a secure shelter and return home only when advised by local
authorities and obey all emergency personnel instructions.
Be prepared for recovery efforts with safety apparel and equipment that
is certified by an accredited certification organization such as CSA
Group. Basic items should include:
Certified protective footwear to protect against electric shock,
puncture and impact injuries; protective gloves, head wear and eye
wear; protective masks.
Personal first aid kit with antiseptic wipes.
Portable battery, solar or crank-operated radio to receive updates and
warnings from local authorities.
Clean drinking water.
Flashlight or chemical glow sticks (do not use candles or any open
Before approaching your home, check the surrounding area for hazards
such as downed power lines, debris, or other dangers. Mark and report
any hazards or hazardous goods to local authorities. Treat all power
lines as live and never touch! Check outside the home for obvious
structural faults. Do not enter if serious structural damage is
Examine the exterior of your home for gas leaks or electrical hazards.
If possible, turn your gas off at the meter. If you can access your
main electric box without going through standing water or entering the
home, turn off the main breaker. Have qualified emergency personnel
examine gas or electrical controls before turning them off.
Upon entering, slowly and carefully watch for hazards. Beware of jammed
doors, sagging ceilings or floors. Leave immediately if you hear
shifting or unusual noises that signal the structure may fall or if you
Do not operate gas or electrical equipment until it has been dried,
cleaned and inspected. Some equipment such as hot water heaters may
need to be replaced entirely if floodwaters have reached the burners,
electrical parts or insulation.
STORMS AND FLOODING
Thunderstorms occur regularly in Canada during warmer months. In eastern
Canada, two to three tropical storms enter Canadian waters in an
average year, sometimes wreaking havoc on shore. Even a
"garden-variety" thunderstorm can cause major wind and water damage.
CSA reminds Canadians to keep in mind the following when dealing with
Standing water can be a breeding ground for viruses, bacteria and mold.
Floodwaters often contain sewage or animal carcasses, so infectious
disease is a concern. Never use contaminated water for cooking or
Everything that has been touched by floodwaters should be cleaned and
disinfected. Materials that cannot be effectively cleaned, such as
carpeting, mattresses, and stuffed toys or stuffed furniture should be
discarded. Remove and discard wet wallboard/drywall/gypsum and
Start the drying process as soon as possible by opening all windows and
doors. If your basement remains flooded, drain it slowly and carefully
only when standing water outside the home is no longer visible on the
ground. Removing water too quickly could significantly damage or
collapse your foundation.
Heating and air conditioning ducts may have mud or debris and may need
to be cleaned and disinfected.
In Canada, there are up to three-million lightning strikes each year,
and an average of one strike every three seconds in the summer in
central Canada. Lightning and extreme summer heat can lead to
brownouts, or even blackouts. If faced with this situation, there are
some important safety considerations:
Use generators carefully and always follow instructions, ensuring your
generator is rated for the amount of electricity you will need. To
prevent shock, the generator must be properly grounded.
Do not connect a generator directly to a home's wiring, which could send
high-voltage current or "backfeed" to outside power lines connected to
your house. Backfeed could be fatal to anyone who touches the power
line and may cause additional damage to your home.
Never re-fuel a generator when it's running or while still hot. Keep an
appropriate fire extinguisher nearby at all times. Store fuel
containers outside and away from buildings or combustibles.
Consider using portable solar panels and battery units for smaller
For more everyday consumer tips and safety advice, please visit www.csasafetytips.com
About CSA Group
CSA Group is an independent, not-for-profit membership association
dedicated to safety, social good and sustainability. Its knowledge and
expertise encompass standards development; training and advisory
solutions; global testing and certification services across key
business areas including hazardous location and industrial, plumbing
and construction, medical, safety and technology, appliances and gas,
alternative energy, lighting and sustainability; as well as consumer
product evaluation services. The CSA certification mark appears on
billions of products worldwide. For more information about CSA Group
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SOURCE CSA Group
For further information:
Contact: Anthony Toderian
Manager, Corporate Affairs