There is enough to worry about over the holidays: the perfect decor, the perfect gift, the perfect meal. Focus on what is really important this holiday season, by taking a few steps to ensure your home is safe and sound... Read More.
Preparing Your Home for Colder Weather
As the days start to get shorter and crisper, and leaves start their colourful transformation, make time to ensure your home is safe, secure and ready for cooler temperatures with these easy steps... Read More.
Winter Driving | Be Smart Behind the Wheel
Wintery roads can make even the shortest trip a white-knuckling experience. In fact, studies have shown that December, January and February historically see the highest number of collisions than any other time of the year. Taking just a few simple steps can help keep everyone safe on the roads.You never know when you may need to brake quickly, and this is even more important on wet, icy or snowy roads and at night when visibility is worse... Read More.
Back to School Road Safety Tips
It’s that time of year again… back to school. It’s an exciting time for all, but it can also be a dangerous time of year... Read More
Tips to Prepare for High Winds, Heavy Rains and Floods
Contact your municipal offices to inquire about disaster relief programs in your community
Keep the area around your home clear of garbage and recycling bins, patio furniture, yard debris and other objects that heavy winds could pick up and blow around
Clear eaves troughs and downspouts of leaves and debris and ensure downspouts drain properly - ideally six feet away from your home
Get a licensed professional to: install an anti-backflow valve; install a sump pump with a reliable power backup; inspect your current equipment; clear drains of roots or obstructions; and ensure drain systems are working properly
If it looks like water intrusion may occur, shut off the electricity and outside gas valve immediately. Move important personal documents and expensive items out of the basement to a higher floor to keep them safe from water damage
Never go near or touch fallen power lines. Call your local energy utility company to alert them to damage.
Prevent Water Infiltration
Check walls, floors, windows and foundations for cracks or leaks after a heavy rainfall or rapid thaw. Make any necessary repairs immediately.
Repair or replace damaged weeping tile systems.
Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of leaves and debris at least once a year – late fall is a good time.
Ensure downspouts drain properly – ideally six feet away from the home.
Be sure the grading around your home drains water away from all exterior walls.
Consider soft surface landscaping to direct storm water into the ground rather than the local sewer systems (e.g. increase sodded areas, porous pavements).
Consider the installation of rain barrels to prevent runoff.
Fort MacMurray Wildfires | We Were There
On May 1, 2016, the residents of the municipality of Wood Buffalo in Northern Alberta were enjoying an early summer, with record breaking temperatures of 30° + and no sign of rain in the forecast. Little did they know their lives would be turned upside down in days to come. A wildfire was beginning southwest of the city of Fort McMurray, and because of the hot, arid weather, there was no stopping its destructive path. On May 3rd a mandatory evacuation order was given for the town and over 100,000 residents were told to leave their homes, and leave quickly. People were displaced to evacuation centres and told to ‘wait and see’ what would happen next.
Over the coming days the fire would grow to 101,000 hectares, destroying almost everything it touched. And there was no rain in sight.
Read about how we were there to respond and support the victims of the wildfires through our cronilogical posts... Read More.
Fraudulent Cheques | March 2016
Some individuals and customers may have received what appears to be a cheque written by Pembridge or Pafco from “My Shop Inc.” or “Staple Research INC” (could now be under another name) citing payment for a mystery shopper program. Please note that these are not authorized company cheques nor are we affiliated with either company in any way. The cheques should NOT be deposited. To the best of our knowledge, this scam is focused in the GTA.
We take these types of scams very seriously and we have reported this fraudulent activity to the appropriate authorities. We recommend that any individual who receives this letter report it to the police.
Making Ontario's Roads Safer Act | January 1, 2016
Have you heard about the new laws in Ontario for pedestrian crossovers and school crossings?
Starting January 1st, 2016, drivers, including cyclists, must stop and yield the entire roadway:
• at pedestrian crossovers; and,
• at school crossings where there is a crossing guard on duty displaying a school crossing stop sign.
These rules apply at pedestrian crossovers identified with specific signs, road markings and lights. The new rules do not apply to pedestrian crosswalks at intersections with stop signs or traffic signals, unless a school crossing guard is present.
The new laws, part of the “Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act” (Bill 31), also allows municipalities to install new types of pedestrian crossovers on low speed, low volume roads, in addition to any existing crossovers.
The penalties for breaking these rules are steep. Drivers will be fined $150 to $500 and 3 demerit points for not yielding at pedestrian crossings, school crossings and crosswalks. In addition and in support of these new rules, the fine for running a red light has been increased to $200 to $1,000.
Please visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s website for complete details of these changes.
Tips for Safe Driving in Fog
If there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. If you need to drive in fog, follow these safe driving tips:
Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
Make sure the full lighting system of your vehicle is turned on.
Use your low-beam headlights. High beams reflect off the moisture droplets in the fog, making it harder to see.
If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, in addition to your low beams.
Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic.
Use pavement markings to help guide you. Use the right edge of the road as a guide, rather than the centre line.
Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to brake safely.
Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead.
Reduce the distractions in your vehicle. For example, turn off your cell phone. Your full attention is required.
Watch for any electronically operated warning signs.
Keep looking as far ahead as possible.
Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Use your defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.
If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road and try to position your vehicle in a safe parking area. Turn on your emergency flashers, in addition to keeping your low-beam headlights on.
Pembridge and Pafco Partner with CANATICS to Fight Auto Insurance Fraud
Insurance fraud affects all Canadians. Organized fraud schemes can put people at risk while driving up the cost of insurance for all consumers. In Ontario alone, fraud costs consumers as much as $1.6 billion every year.
Recently, the Ontario government’s Auto Insurance Anti-Fraud Task Force supported the establishment of the Canadian National Insurance Crime Services (CANATICS) - to identify potential cases of organized and premeditated fraud.
Pembridge and Pafco along with other insurance companies have partnered with CANATICS to discover new ways to fight fraud as part of our ongoing commitment to protect Canadian consumers.