By Fadi Didi
One of the toughest parts about working in news is hearing about tragedy that could have been avoided with simple and uncostly preparation.
Four people were killed in a house fire in Oshawa this past week, including a mother and her two kids.
Fire officials found there were no working smoke alarms in the home, at the time of the blaze.
Perhaps that family may still be with us, had someone invested the $7 it would have taken to replace the batteries in the smoke alarm, or simply replace the alarms, altogether.
Thankfully, there are some things you can do today that could save your life.
Talk to your family about what to do in the event of a fire, and what their escape routes will be. Don't forget to give your kids permission to break a bedroom window, should they become trapped. If a winter storm hits and you have some time to kill, conduct a fire drill.
If you own a car, be sure to have your full headlights on throughout the winter. It may give you just enough visibility to other drivers to avoid potential disaster. Of course, you want to ensure all the snow is brushed off your car before you hit that road.
On that note, have some snacks and a blanket in your emergency kit, should you be stranded on the road in a winter storm. Some extra windshield washer fluid wouldn't hurt, either.
If you're like me, you're looking forward to summer -- and you can plan now to be as safe as possible.
Start saving to have a life jacket for you and all your guests, if you plan on boating along Lake Huron and Georgian Bay. We've reported too many stories of lives lost because those on a capsized boat were not wearing life jackets.
This includes kayaking and canoeing, especially during the Spring thaw. Waterways can become rough and unstable, and you could be forced underwater without hope if you don't have a life jacket.