Safety And Security

Car crashes through Shoppers window in Brantford




A silver Toyota Matrix crashed through the front window of the Shoppers Drug Mart store on Colborne Street West on Thursday injuring two people.


The extent of the injuries haven’t been made public.


The incident occurred just after 10 a.m. The car went right through the glass window located right beside the front door behind the handicapped parking sign. The sign wasn’t damaged but there was a tire skid mark just before the smashed window.


Witnesses said there were two people – a mother and son – who were in the store and injured as a result of the mishap.


There were two women in the SUV and they were shaken up but otherwise appeared to be okay, witnesses said.


June Nicholson was in the Shoppers when the accident happened and heard the vehicle crash through the window.


“I went down to the pharmacy and told the people there that something had happened – something bad,” Nicholson said. “I thought guns were involved.


“They were already on the phone calling for help.”


A couple of Brant OPP officers were in the area at the time and were first on the scene and tended to the victims until city police officers, firefighters and paramedics arrived on the scene.


City police, firefighters and paramedics were on the scene within minutes and rushed into the store to take care of the victims and safeguard the scene. At one point, there were four ambulances on the scene, three fire trucks and as many as five police vehicles including a couple of cruisers.


It is the second time in less than two weeks that a vehicle has, for some inexplicable reason, driven through the front window of a store in Brantford.


A vehicle drove through the window of Second Chance at the plaza at 59 King George causing more than $100,000 damage and shaking up staff members and customers.

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor




Safety And Security

Safety Tips For Winter Walking


When the winter air is crisp and the ground is covered with snow, there’s nothing like taking a walk to enjoy the beauty of the season — and walking is one of the best ways to keep fit.

On the other hand, winter can be a challenging time of year to get out and about. Freezing rain, icy surfaces and piles of hard-packed snow pose a hazard for the innocent pedestrian.

A few simple measures can make it safer to walk outdoors in the winter. Removing snow and ice, putting sand or salt on areas where people walk, and wearing the right footwear all make a big difference.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), almost 12,000 Ontarians visited an emergency room (ER) in 2002–2003 after falling on ice. Over half of the incidents took place in January and February.

Baby boomers are the most prone to falling on ice. The 40 to 59 demographic accounted for 30 percent of the ER visits. Those who were hospitalized stayed an average of 3.6 days.

However, older age groups were more likely to be admitted to hospital, with injuries serious enough to require longer stays. Over one-third of all people hospitalized after falling on ice were 60 to 79 years of age; on average they were hospitalized for 7.6 days. The elderly stay in hospital the longest after a fall on ice. The average stay for those aged 80 and older was 14.5 days.

Just one bad fall on ice can have long-term consequences. These include: chronic pain in the affected area; a disabling injury that may mean loss of independence; or fear of another fall, which discourages a healthy, active lifestyle.

Basic Precautions

The Canada Safety Council offers seniors some practical suggestions to stay active in winter.

As winter approaches, outfit yourself for safe walking:

Choose a good pair of winter boots. For warmth and stability look for these features:

well insulated and waterproof;

thick, non-slip tread sole;

wide, low heels; and

light in weight.

Ice grippers on footwear can help you walk on hard packed snow and ice. But be careful! Grippers become dangerously slippery and must be removed before walking on smooth surfaces such as stone, tile and ceramic. Before buying the grippers, be sure that you are able to attach and remove them from your boots, this is best done sitting down.

Use a cane to help with balance. Have it fitted to the right height for you. When your cane is held upside down, the end should be at wrist level. Speak to your doctor, pharmacist or local public health department about how to use your cane properly.

Attach an ice pick at the end of your cane. Cane picks will be slippery on hard surfaces so be sure to flip it back as you get indoors. Picks are available at most drug stores.

If you need further support use a walker. The cost can be covered by government programs; talk with your doctor.

Wear a hip protector (a lightweight belt or pant with shields to guard the hips). It can help protect the hips against fractures and give added confidence.

Help other road users see you by wearing bright colors or adding reflective material to clothing.

Prevent heat loss by wearing a warm hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves. Dressing in layers may also keep you warmer.

Once the snow and ice arrive, make sure your walking surfaces are safe:

Keep entranceways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow. Report hazards on sidewalks or pathways to your landlord or the City.

Contact your local home support agency or other community services for help with snow removal, transportation and grocery bus services.

Carry a small bag of grit, sand or non clumping cat litter in your jacket pocket or handbag, to sprinkle when you are confronted with icy sidewalks, steps, bus stops, etc.

Ask a passer-by to help you cross the icy surface.

Walking on Ice

Facing an icy surface can be a paralyzing experience. Not everyone has grippers and other safety aids. So, what should you do if it’s impossible to avoid an icy patch? Believe it or not, body movements can increase your stability on an icy surface.

First, slow down and think about your next move. Keeping your body as loose as possible, spread your feet to more than a foot apart to provide a base of support. This will help stabilize you as you walk.

Next, keep your knees loose and don’t let them lock. If you can, let them bend a bit. This will keep your centre of gravity lower to the ground, which further stabilizes the body.

Now you are ready to take a step. Make the step small, placing your whole foot down at once. Then shift your weight very slowly to this foot and bring your other foot to meet it the same way. Keep a wide base of support.

Some people prefer to drag their feet or shuffle them. If this feels better to you, then do so. Just remember to place your whole foot on the ice at once and keep your base of support approximately one foot wide.

Of course, it’s always better to avoid tricky situations by being prepared and planning a safe route for your walk.

Sources: Ottawa Public Health, Niagara Region Public Health

Safety And Security

Boomer Driving Safety Tips


Aside from taking care of your health, you can take an active role in helping yourself or another senior to drive more safely.

Find the right car and any aids you need for driving. Choose a vehicle with automatic transmission, power steering, and power brakes. Keep your car in good working condition by visiting your mechanic for scheduled maintenance. Be sure that windows and headlights are always clean. You can also see an occupational therapist for special driving aids that can help with physical problems.

Take it slow and give yourself plenty of room. If cars are passing you on both the right and left lanes, you may be driving more slowly than you used to. Move into the slow lane so others can pass you safely. Also, to avoid problems if the vehicle in front of you stops suddenly, stay back about two car lengths. Be sure to yield the right of way in intersections. Older drivers also have a large number of accidents at intersections when making left turns. It is best to avoid them altogether by making successive right turns and keeping going around the block or blocks to get to your destination.

Avoid distractions. In general, many accidents happen because of distractions like talking on the phone, tuning the radio, eating or drinking, reaching for something, turning your head to talk with a passenger or looking around at the scenery instead of the road. Even a few seconds of taking your mind off driving can be precarious.

Avoid uncomfortable driving situations. Many older drivers voluntarily begin to make changes in their driving practices. For instance, you may decide to drive only during daylight hours if you have trouble seeing well in reduced light. If fast-moving traffic bothers you, consider staying off freeways, highways, and find street routes instead. You may also decide to avoid driving in bad weather (rain, thunderstorms, snow, hail, ice). If you are going to a place that is unfamiliar to you, it is a good idea to plan your route before you leave so that you feel more confident and avoid getting lost. Online services such as MapQuest, Google Maps, and Yahoo Maps can be very helpful.


Try the following…

 Visual decline

 Get eyes checked every year and make sure that corrective lenses are current. Keep the windshield, mirrors, and headlights clean, and turn brightness up on the instrument panel on your dashboard.

 Hearing loss

 Have hearing checked annually. If hearing aids are prescribed, make sure they are worn while driving

 Limited mobility and increased reaction time

 An occupational therapist or a certified driving rehabilitation specialist can prescribe equipment to make it easier to steer the car and to operate the foot pedals.


 Talk with a doctor about the effects of medications you are taking on driving ability.


 Sleeping well is essential to driving well. If there are problems, try to improve night-time sleep conditions and talk with a doctor about the effect of any sleep medications on driving.

 Dementia and brain impairment

 If there are any signs of dementia or brain impairment, limit driving and consult a doctor.


Driving is a complex function and problems can come up in a number of ways. If you begin to find driving more difficult than before, be alert for changes that make driving unsafe. If you notice any of the warning signs listed below, it is time to reassess your risks. If you are in a position to observe these in another driver, see if any of them are reflected in your own driving. It’s hard to do but extremely important. Many small warning signs of unsafe driving can add up to the decision to quit driving.

Unsafe driving warning signs

Problems on the road. Abrupt lane changes, braking, or acceleration. Failing to use the turn signal, or keeping the signal on without changing lanes. Drifting into other lanes. Driving on the wrong side of the road or in the shoulder.

Trouble with reflexes. Trouble reading signs or navigating directions to get somewhere. Range-of-motion issues (looking over the shoulder, moving the hands or feet). Trouble moving from the gas to the brake pedal, or confusing the two pedals. Slow reaction to changes in the driving environment.

Increased anxiety and anger in the car. Feeling more nervous or fearful while driving or feeling exhausted after driving. Frustration or anger at other drivers but oblivious to the frustration of other drivers, not understanding why they are honking. Reluctance from friends or relatives to be in the car with the senior driving

Trouble with memory or handling change. Getting lost more often. Missing highway exits or backing up after missing an exit. Trouble paying attention to signals, road signs, pavement markings, or pedestrians.

Close calls and increased citations. More frequent “close calls” (i.e., almost crashing), or dents and scrapes on the car or on fences, mailboxes, garage doors, and curbs. Increased traffic tickets or “warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers.


If you find yourself in the position of talking to an older family member or friend about their driving, approach the issue with sensitivity. A driver’s license signifies more than the ability to drive a car; it is a symbol of freedom and self-sufficiency. Understandably, driving is not a privilege that anyone wants to relinquish willingly.

Some older drivers may be aware of their faltering ability, but still be reluctant to give up driving completely. Another person’s concerns may force the senior driver to act. They may even feel relieved to have someone else help make the decision to stop driving. Some seniors may forget that they aren’t supposed to drive. If that is the case, it is even more important to remove the car or the keys to make it impossible to drive.

When a driver refuses to give up the keys

Sometimes an older driver has to be stopped from driving over their objections. It might feel very difficult for you to make this call, especially if the senior is a parent or other close figure used to having their independence. However, their safety and the safety of others must come first. An unsafe driver can seriously injure or kill themselves or others.

If appropriate evaluations and recommendations have been made and no amount of rational discussion has convinced the senior to hand over the car keys, then you may make an anonymous report to the Department of Motor Vehicles or recruit the family physician to write a prescription to stop driving. In some cases, there is a need to take further actions such as taking away the car keys, selling or disabling the car, and enlisting the local police to explain the importance of safe driving and the legal implications of unsafe driving.

Monika White, Ph.D. Doug Russell, LCSW, Joanna Saisan and Gina Kemp M.A. contributed to this article. Last modified: June 09.

Safety And Security

Safety Tips For Seniors


Criminals often regard seniors as easy targets for many kinds of crimes. It is important to be aware of these crimes and to learn how to prevent them.  Watch out for Con Artists and Con Games.

Some safety tips for seniors

Always walk in well-lit areas… walking with a companion is safer.

Walk with confidence and be aware of your surroundings-look for the Block Parent Sign!

Carry identification with you at all times.

Keep your doors locked at all times.

Never display large sums of money in public.

Report all suspicious activity to the police.

Never open your door to strangers until you are satisfied with their identity and the purpose of their visit.

Get to know your neighbors


At home

Always keep your doors and windows locked.  Install dead-bolt locks in all doors.

Keep your home well lit at night inside and out, and keep your curtains closed at night.

Install a peephole in your front door so you can see callers without opening the door.

Ask for proper identification and the purpose of the visit from delivery people or strangers.

Never let a stranger into your home.  If a stranger asks to use your telephone, offer to place the call for him.

Never give out information over the phone indicating that you are home alone or detailing when you will not be home.

Hide your keys in a place that is not conspicuous.

Install a wide-angle door viewer which permits you to see callers before you open the door.

Out and About

Walk only in well-lit areas.

Do not burden yourself with packages or a bulky purse.

Never display large sums of money in public.

Walk near curbs and away from alleys and doorways.

Avoid walking alone at night.

 In the Car

Always lock your car immediately on entering or leaving it.

If a stranger stops to offer help, do not get out of your car.  Ask the stranger to call a service truck for you.

If you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest public place (gas station, all-night restaurant) and blow your horn.

Park in well lit areas.

When you return to your car, always check the front and back seat before you get in.

Never pick up hitchhikers.

Avoid driving and parking in isolated areas.

Keep your gas tank full and your engine properly maintained to avoid breakdowns. If you have car trouble, raise the hood, lock yourself in and wait for the police.

Financial Information

Do not discuss your finances with strangers.


Safety And Security

Boomers Safety and Security

Snowbirds: Safety in the Sunny South

Soon, 1.5 million Snowbirds will leave on their annual migration to the sunny south. The Canada Safety Council says that a few simple precautions will help ensure a safe, healthy and enjoyable stay.

Safety on the Trip Down

If you drive, travel during the daylight hours and avoid rush hour traffic. Older drivers have more collisions per kilometer driven, so make sure you are ready for the driving task. Also, medications can affect your driving skills. Consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication if you will be driving.

Never, never drink and drive! Impaired driving is a major cause of fatalities and injuries on North American highways. The consequences can follow you, your loved ones and your victims for life.

Safety in the Car

Carjacking is now a real fear in some large American cities. The Miami tourist guide advises visitors not to stop if their car is struck from behind. Do not get out to inspect the damage. Drive to the nearest police station if possible. The FBI recommends these precautions:

  • Use freeways, rather than streets that might pass through high crime areas.
  • Know where you are going before you leave.
  • Leave space between your car and other cars at traffic signals and stop signs.
  • Keep doors locked and windows up.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • If you are renting a car, make sure it does not sport a rental sticker; rental firms in many American cities no longer have their identification on their cars.

Safety on the Street

Tourists are easy targets because they carry valuables. To make yourself a less attractive target:

  • Dress modestly.
  • Don’t wear flashy jewelry.
  • Keep cameras concealed.
  • Know where you are going and walk confidently.

Safety in the Sun

The cumulative effects of excessive sun exposure, especially sunburn in young children, can produce skin cancer in later years. According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, over 60,000 Canadians develop skin cancer annually…but the good news is that skin cancer is almost totally preventable.

The Canada Safety Council’s Canada Sun Guide helps Canadians combine sun safety with outdoor activities. Golf, boating, swimming and long walks on the beach can be healthy, fun and safe if you follow the four Canada Sun Guide basics:

  • Minimize sun exposure.
  • Seek and create shade.
  • Cover up.
  • Use sunscreen.