Tag Archives: Safety

Canada Day Weekend: Fireworks Safety

By: Dale Orlando and Nicole Fielding, Summer Student


The Canada Day weekend is fast approaching, and with this year being Canada’s 150th birthday, it is a special time to celebrate. Fireworks can be a fun and exciting activity to enjoy with family and friends, but they can also be dangerous and unpredictable when handled incorrectly. Improper use of pyrotechnics can result in serious burns and personal injuries. If you choose to host your own fireworks show, there are a number of things to keep in mind to ensure a fun and safe fireworks display.

Planning Ahead

Before you pick up your own fireworks, it is a good idea to check out the bylaws in your area concerning their use. The Government of Canada, Provinces and many Municipalities have set restrictions on when and where fireworks may be enjoyed.  For example, in Toronto, fireworks displays/discharges must comply with the City of Toronto fireworks bylaw, and fireworks may only be used without a permit on designated holidays.

When obtaining fireworks, purchase them from a reliable source that sells products meeting safety standards. Some Municipalities issue vendor permits to regulated retailers. Steer clear from illegal explosives or firecrackers, and do not attempt to create your own.

Consumer fireworks cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

Prepare Your Display

Location is critical when it comes to setting off fireworks. Set up your supplies in a clear, open space, away from combustible materials and hazards, on a hard, flat and level surface to ensure stability. Always read the instructions, cautions and warnings on the fireworks you have purchased.

Arrange spectators a safe distance away from the set-off location, and be sure that any wind is blowing away from your audience. Discharge fireworks only if weather conditions allow for it.

Before igniting, fireworks should be buried at least half their length in a bucket of sand if a firing base is not available. Never discharge fireworks from a metal or glass container. Be sure that all the fireworks are firmly supported in their base or sand, and aimed straight and away from your audience. Always keep a water hose or a pail or water close by when discharging fireworks.

Natural Resources Canada has issued a short video about fireworks safety which can be viewed here.

Protect Yourself and Your Family

When setting off your fireworks, light only one firework item at a time. Always light the fuse at the tip, and light the firework at arms length, then stand back. If you get a “dud” or defective firework, never attempt to re-light it, and wait 30 minutes to ensure it does not go off.

Only a responsible adult should be handling fireworks. Always keep fireworks out of reach of children, and store them in a space that is inaccessible to younger members of your family.

Sparklers burn extremely hot, and can cause clothing to catch fire, cause blindness or result in severe burns. If choosing to include sparklers in the celebration, remember to keep these away from young children. Sparklers should be doused in water or immersed in a bucket of sand after burning out, as they remain hot for some time.

Sometimes, the safest and most stress-free way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a show handled by professionals. There might be events hosted in your community being overseen by a trained, certified professional. Check out the Government of Canada’s list of Canada Day celebrations happening near you.

If you or someone you know has suffered burns or other serious injuries as the result of an accident, contact one of the critical injury lawyers at McLeish Orlando LLP for a free consultation.

Swimming Pool Safety Tips to Follow at Home

Written By: William Keele

Pools are one of the best things about summer. They keep your kids happy, entertained, and active. However, when water is involved, there are potential dangers that the whole family should be aware of. Approximately 388,000 people die each year from drowning (World Health Organization). Whether you have a pool of your own, a neighbour’s pool to splash in, or one within the community, make sure that everyone within your household understands these pool safety tips.


1. Reinforce Pool Rules

Pool rules are incredibly important. Everyone that enters your pool should know that if they do not follow the rules, they will no longer be allowed to swim at your house. Even if you don’t have a pool, you want to provide your child with safety tips that they can use when swimming at a friend’s house.

  • No diving in shallow or aboveground pools.
  • No running around the pool.
  • No electrical devices or appliances near the pool.
  • No swimming without adult supervision.

2. Install a Safe Fence Around your Pool

Children are very curious, and they can sneak outdoors without you ever knowing it. Many cities in Canada require that you have a fence on your property if you have a private pool. However, each region has specific requirements, which should always be taken into consideration. While a fence will deter others form entering your pool from the outside, they very rarely provide a block between your house and the pool itself. To ensure that you have the safest fence possible, here are some things to consider:

  • Install a pool fence around the pool, as well as around your backyard
  • Ensure the fence has a minimum height of 1.2 metres.
  • Have a self-closing gate.
  • The fence should be climb-resistant.

3. Start Swimming Lessons as Soon as Possible

Swimming lessons are one of the best ways to protect your child from drowning. Lessons are age-specific, and will teach your child everything from the basics to floating and diving. It is recommended to get your children into swimming lessons as soon as possible. There are even some that teach infants valuable water survival skills, such as how to flip over in the water and float. Needless to say, these short, once-a-week lessons may save a life, and should never be underestimated. Some things to consider prior to placing young children in swimming lessons are:

  • Any physical limitations your child may have (special swimming lessons may be required).
  • Emotional maturity (there are swimming lessons for all ages).
  • Health concerns such as pool chemicals, infections, swallowing water, etc.

4. Create a Plan for Water Emergencies

Everyone within your household should be able to respond to any emergencies that occur in your pool. This could be as simple as running to the neighbours if an adult is injured, or calling 911. The older your children get, the more elaborate your safety plan should be. Here are some additional things to consider:

  • Take a CPR course as a family.
  • Take a water safety course.
  • Keep a well-stocked first aid kit by the pool.

Having a pool can be a liability, but with swimming pool safety tips, you can decrease the risk and ensure that everyone stays safe.

McLeish Orlando is proud to support Cycle Toronto’s Get Lit! Campaign

McLeish Orlando is once again proud to support Cycle Toronto’s Get Lit! Campaign.  Cycle Toronto is planning four events to educate Toronto cyclists about the need to stay lit when riding after dark.

Get Lit! is part of Cycle Toronto’s Street Smarts Outreach program intended to educate Toronto cyclists about staying safe while riding. The Get Lit! campaign is held every October.

To learn more about the Get Lit! Campaign and how you can cycle safe, click here.

Check out Get Lit! Campaign Events: 

Get Lit! Campaign Event – October 6th,  Art Gallery of Ontario
Get Lit! Campaign Event – October 13th,  Boulton Drive Parkette
Get Lit! Campaign Event – October 20th,  College-Shaw Library
Get Lit! Campaign Event – October 27th,  Castle Frank Subway Station

Getting Ready for the Games: How will the Pan Am Games Affect City Streets?


The highly anticipated Pan Am Games are officially underway. Throughout the summer, over 7,500 top athletes from the Americas and the Caribbean will compete at more than 30 venues across southern Ontario, drawing an estimated 300,000 visitors into Toronto and the surrounding area. The 1.5 million tickets released for the Games projects serious traffic congestion on city streets and highways in the upcoming months.

With this in mind, it is important that if traveling in the Greater Toronto Area you plan to keep moving (by carpooling, public transit, or alternative methods of transportation) and consider the impact that such a large volume of people has on your safety.

The increased volume of traffic in and around the city of Toronto will have an effect on normal commuting time and will also reduce efficiency while traveling on city streets. In attempt to increase traffic flow, a 235km high occupancy vehicle network has been established, with temporary HOV lanes on the following roads and highways:

  • Highway 427
  • Highway 404 (using existing HOV lanes)
  • Don Valley Parkway
  • Lakeshore Boulevard (Toronto)
  • Highway 401
  • Queen Elizabeth Way
  • Gardiner Expressway
  • Jane Street (York Region)

These lanes will be open to accredited Games vehicles, cars with 3 or more occupants from June 29-July 27, cars with 2 or more occupants from July 28-August 18, public transit, taxis, electric vehicles and motorcycles. Smart Commute, a program operated by Metrolinx, has urged commuters to organize carpooling in order to use these lanes, or to consider other ways to get into the city. This can include biking, walking, and taking public transportation.

How will the Pan Am Games affect the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers?

The increased volume of visitors this summer raises a significant safety concern for both drivers and pedestrians. Drivers should plan ahead and leave plenty of time to get to their destination, as traffic delays can be expected throughout the Pan Am Games. Drivers must also be mindful of an increased number of pedestrians on the streets. Slow down, and stay aware to ensure a safe commute.

Pedestrians and cyclists should consider the additional drivers on the road, many of who may not be familiar with the city. Always stay visible to drivers, and pay attention while on the road, crossing the street, or stopped at an intersection.

Those utilizing public transit should also keep safety in mind this summer. In just one hour on a typical weekday morning, around 200,000 passengers arrive at Union Station by Go Transit. During rush hour, trains carry approximately 1,500 people. With the arrival of the Pan Am Games, there will be more people relying on the Go Train and the TTC for transportation. Be aware of your surroundings and personal belongings when standing on the train or subway platform, and while waiting on the road for the bus or streetcar. Always stay a safe distance away from train or subway tracks, behind the designated waiting area.

Visit the following links for additional safety resources, and more information about the Pan Am Games:




John McLeish on Moose FM: Summer Boat Safety Tips

Summer has finally arrived, and for some this also means that it’s boating season. Boating is a great way to enjoy summer weather, however if you’re going to be out on the water this summer, there are some additional safety concerns that are vital to consider.

With many popular boating destinations just a short drive from Toronto, personal injury lawyer John McLeish shares some helpful boat safety tips and important information with Moose FM radio:

  • 1/3 water-related fatalities in Canada involve boating. Know the risks, and make sure to be aware at all times while operating a boat, sea doo or other vessel.
  • Most accidents happen during recreational activities. Always be mindful of your surroundings and put safety first, even while having fun on the water.
  • Although there are no no-fault benefits on the water and having boating insurance is not mandatory, your right to sue in a boating accident is the same as in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Anyone involved in an accident has the right to advance a claim and the right to fair compensation, for loss of income and the cost of future care.
  • Practice good water safety habits, including always wearing a life jacket while boating.

For more information, visit www.pialaw.ca.

Daylight savings time reminders

Daylight-Savings-Time-2013Daylight savings time is ending this weekend. When turning your clocks back one hour, the following reminders may help you as we prepare for winter:

  • Observing and maintaining your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is important in avoiding a fire or carbon monoxide dangers in your home. Try correlating replacing batteries in these devices with daylight savings time. You should also test the units once a month.
  • Create or review the emergency plan for your home. Set-up a meeting with family members to discuss the plan for an emergency.
  • Replace any necessary first aid kit supplies that have been used to ensure that in an emergency you have a complete first aid kit.
  • Create an emergency kit which may consist of industrial flashlights and batteries, radio or crank radio (to listen to news bulletins), candles and matches, extra car keys, cash, blankets or sleeping bags, food and bottled water.
  • In addition to your first aid and emergency kit, you should also create a Car Winter Survival kit. Keep a road map, flashlight, food, water and blanket in the trunk of your vehicle.

Being prepared is one of the best defenses you can have against a potential threat or natural disaster. Gather your family members this weekend or over the holiday season and make a plan for what you would do in case of an emergency.

For more articles related to Safety click on the links below:

For more information about McLeish Orlando click here

Keep safety in mind this Victoria Day Weekend

While many Ontarians look forward to Victoria Day weekend as an official summer kick-off, it is also the beginning of trauma season; the time when getting to and from the cottage can be a killer, Toronto critical injury lawyer Dale Orlando writes on Huffington Post.

“The Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s latest statistics show that in 2010, seven people died and more than 300 were hurt in over 1,300 collisions on Ontario roads on the Victoria Day long weekend,” the article says.

“A check with the City of Toronto’s traffic safety unit confirms that in Toronto alone, more than 130 people were hurt in over 400 collisions on this holiday weekend last year.”

Orlando, partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, says impaired driving is a major issue on holiday weekends, and notes it’s worth making the time to take safety precautions.  Watch Video

“If you can avoid the rush-hour cottage country drive, do so; you won’t be sharing the road with those who, no matter how many aggressive lane changes they make, will only arrive about 15 minutes ahead of everyone else who is keeping their cool,” he writes.

“And it may seem obvious, but step away from the cellphone. Put it in your briefcase or trunk and out of your hands so you won’t be tempted to check just one last email.”

When it comes to boating safety, take extra caution on the first time out, advises Orlando.

“Wear a life jacket, and while it’s obvious, leave the alcohol on the dock because it’s just as dangerous as drinking and driving,” he says.

Source: AdvocateDaily.com

It’s My Road Too: Equality, Complete Streets and the Province

As the Provincial Government grapples with a new cycling strategy, anyone engaged in the debate understands that there are no simple solutions or quick fixes. An old infrastructure designed for cars, clogged roadways with users competing for space, and a limited amount of funding make meaningful change at all levels seem next to impossible.   Where do we begin?  A one meter passing rule.  That’s a good start, but not a long term solution.   Riding paths that circle the City, although valuable do not get you safely to the store to buy bread, work or go to the local café.  The implementation of bike lanes seems to be like trench warfare. Gains and losses are determined street by street, ward by ward, city by city. Exhausting, slow and for the most part disjointed.

However there is hope! It emerges from the forward thinking of our Chief Coroners’ Office.  It is not based on specifics, but on how decision makers are to look at things. A new culture perhaps.  Its called “Complete Streets”.  Words, that to date, are not mentioned in any provincial policy statement, legislation, or standard. An approach that is growing in US. One that has been advocated for the last few years by active transportation advocates like TCAT and Cycle Toronto.

One that now has some wheels. In 2012 the Office of the Chief Coroner for Ontario released the Cycling Death Review.  During the course of the review, various stakeholders including the Coroner’s Office, medical professionals, law enforcement, Toronto Transit Commission, Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO), Ontario Medical Association, City of Toronto, and various cycling and road associations participated.

Following the review the Dr. Dan Cass, Deputy Chief Coroner made his number one recommendation to be “Complete Streets”.  The words were clear. “To the Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing a complete streets approach should be adopted to guide the redevelopment of existing communities and the creation of new communities throughout Ontario.” 

Shortly after that, the Coroners office released the Pedestrian Death Review.  Again, the very first recommendation was “Complete Streets”.  “The complete streets approach should be adopted to guide the development of new communities and the redevelopment of existing communities in Ontario.  Complete streets should be designed to be safe, convenient and comfortable for every user, regardless of transportation mode, physical ability, or age.”

Continue reading

Top Tips for a Safe Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner and there will be a number of kids across Ontario going door-to-door trick-or-treating.

To avoid personal injuries McLeish Orlando is sharing a list of tips n’ tricks collected by the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) for drivers, parents and kids to make sure safety and accident prevention is top of mind this All Hallows’ Eve.

• When pulling in or out of driveways stay alert to your surroundings.
• Avoid driving during the hours of 6-9 pm when most trick-or-treating takes place.
• Stay well below the speed limit and give yourself extra time to get to your destination.
• Do not use a cell phone while driving. Driving must be your main focus as a little trick-or-treater could pop out any time.
• Pay extra attention to what is going on around you. Be conscious of sidewalks and roadways and watch for any children darting across the street or in between parked cars.

• Replace your child’s mask with makeup to make sure that they have a clear, unobstructed view of their surroundings.
• Avoid costumes that have dark colors and that will go unnoticed by drivers. Instead choose bright colors, or add reflective tape.
• Accompany your child, or if they are old enough make sure they are with a group of responsible friends.
• Instruct children to stay on sidewalks where they are available, but if they must cross, to look both ways before walking across the street. They should check for cars, trucks and motorcycles
• If your community has no sidewalks, walking beside the road at night can be very dangerous – adult accompaniment and flashlights are a must, regardless of the child’s age.
• Halloween isn’t just for the young. If attending a party with the intention to drink plan ahead, make arrangements to get a ride with a designated driver or a taxi.

• Use a flashlight so you will see and be seen more easily.
• Costumes should be short enough to avoid trips and falls.
• Remember not to eat any of your candy until an adult at home has checked them over. Don’t eat candy that has already been opened.
• Stay out of dark areas. Keep to well-lit areas and only visit homes that have their outside porch lights on. Trick-or-treaters should not go inside homes.

Sources (IBC, CAA and Safe Kids Canada)


Essential Tips for Consumers renewing their Car/Auto Insurance in Ontario.

After September 1, 2010, car insurance companies and brokers across Ontario will be presenting consumers with new choices for their auto insurance renewals.  A daunting process is ahead.  The insurance system in Ontario is one of the most complicated systems in North America. 

Even though car insurance is a major budgetary item for many families, many consumers are unfamiliar with the coverage they actually have.  After September 1, consumers will be given a number of choices as to amount of benefits they wish to purchase. By giving such a choice, the intent was to give them a break on premiums being paid.  

The new basic auto policy being sold contains far less benefits than what existed before September 1.  With benefits being drastically reduced, one would of course expect to see some significant reductions in how much one has to pay in premiums. 

Therefore it is absolutely critical that each consumer ask their insurance company and brokers what are they buying and at what price.  Like shopping in a supermarket, each item ought to have a price tag. Continue reading

10 Tips for Cycling Safely With Traffic

With the gorgeous summer weather, we are seeing an increasing number of cyclists on the road.  Many people  are new to cycling in an urban environment and even those of us who have been cycling for some time can use a refresher on safe cycling practices.

Joe Travers at Biking Toronto has been posting a helpful series titled, “10 Secrets to Cycling with Traffic”.  A link to each of his ten tips is below.  Feel free to use the comments section to discuss your own tips or to provide a critique of Mr. Travers’ tips.

  1. Drivers Don’t Want to Kill You
  2. Ride in a Straight Line
  3. Play by the Rules
  4. Avoid the “Stoplight Squeeze”
  5. Signal Sensibly
  6. Take That Lane
  7. Make Them THINK You’re Unpredictable
  8. Ride With Others
  9. Avoid the Right Hook
  10. Practice Your Route