IBC offers tips to keep Canada Day celebrations safe and fun

EDMONTON, June 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Whether you celebrate Canada Day on Wednesday, July 1, or wait until the weekend, Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) wishes you a happy – and safe – holiday.  It has been a dryer than normal summer across Canada.  In many areas of Western Canada, it may be advisable not to take a chance with any fire related activities but if you do, please respect fire bans, advisories and warnings before doing so.  Also please refrain from having open fires in wooded areas.

"Canada Day is a wonderful time for family and friends to gather around a camp fire or put on an awesome fireworks display," says Bill Adams Vice-President, Western & Pacific, IBC. "But this has been a very dry season so we encourage you to take a moment to review our fire safety tips so that you can keep everyone safe."

At the fire pit:

  • If there is an existing fire pit, use it. But first, make sure it is free of hazards. Otherwise, use a patch of bare ground. Avoid an area where there may be underground tree roots.
  • Clear debris such as leaves or twigs away from around the fire site in an area within a three-metre radius, and build a circle of rocks to prevent the fire from spreading.
  • Adults, not kids, should start campfires. Use tinder (e.g., dry pine needles or grass) or crumpled newspaper to ignite the fire. Never use gas.
  • Keep the fire under adult surveillance at all times. Supervise children and pets, and prevent the fire from getting too big or sparks from flying into the bush.
  • Have a bucket of water, sand and a shovel handy.
  • Totally extinguish the fire before you go to sleep or before you leave the site.
  • Always carry a flashlight to find your way at dusk or in the dark and to help others find you – one flashlight per person.

At the fireworks display:

  • Allow only sober adults over 18 to handle fireworks.
  • Set up the fireworks outside in a clear, open space.
  • Read all the instructions and warnings on the packaging. Light one firework item at a time.
  • Wear eye protection and gloves. Light fireworks at arm's length and then stand back.
  • Have a bucket of sand, a supply of water and a working fire extinguisher on hand.
  • Dispose of used fireworks safely. Once the show is over, let the materials cool down for 30 minutes and then clean up all materials . Soak all fireworks in water and let them cool in a fireproof container overnight before putting them into the garbage. Inspect the area to ensure there are no remaining unlit fireworks.

Wildfire links for Alberta and Manitoba:

AB:
http://wildfire.alberta.ca/

MB:
http://www.gov.mb.ca/wildfire/

BC
http://bcwildfire.ca/situation/

SK:
http://www.environment.gov.sk.ca/fire

(Sources: Insurance Bureau of Canada, Canada Safety Council)

About Insurance Bureau of Canada
Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) is the national industry association representing Canada's private home, auto and business insurers. Its member companies make up 90% of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance market in Canada. For more than 50 years, IBC has worked with governments across the country to help make affordable home, auto and business insurance available for all Canadians. IBC supports the vision of consumers and governments trusting, valuing and supporting the private P&C insurance industry. It champions key issues and helps educate consumers on how best to protect their homes, cars, businesses and properties.

P&C insurance touches the lives of nearly every Canadian and plays a critical role in keeping businesses safe and the Canadian economy strong. It employs more than 118,000 Canadians, pays $6.7 billion in taxes and has a total premium base of $48 billion.  

For media releases and more information, visit IBC's Media Centre at www.ibc.ca. Follow IBC on Twitter @InsuranceBureau and @IBC_West or like us on Facebook. If you have a question about home, auto or business insurance, contact IBC's Consumer Information Centre at 1‑844‑2ask-IBC.

If you require more information, IBC spokespeople are available to discuss the details in this media release.

SOURCE Insurance Bureau of Canada

For further information: To schedule an interview, please contact: Ellen Woodger, Communications Consultant, 416-483-2358, ellen.woodger@sympatico.ca; Steve Kee, Director, Media & Digital Communications, 416-362-2031 x-4387, 416-841-5669, skee@ibc.ca

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