Home Safety

Sound crazy? It’s not. It’s unbelievable how often we see homes with flammable dryer vents installed, filled with lint, all ready to catch a spark. It’s winter. Not a lot of clothes hanging out on the ‘cord-a-linge’ this time of year. Most of us are using our dryers, and we’re putting a lot of wooly sweaters and fleece in there, all clothing that shed a whole lot of lint. In the US, there are 17,000 fires related to clothes dryer vents every...

Montreal is a city with a great many balconies, porches and back decks; and Montrealers make good use of them during the summers. Playwright David Fennario even referred to the city as "Balconville" in his play of the same name, alluding to the balcony's central place in the city's culture, where thousands of Montrealers retreat to escape the heat of their sun-baked homes - and often get to know their neighbours better at the same time. But when homeowners make the...

All Montreal homes built before 1960 have the same energy: unpredictable. For us, the 1960's brought about a new era of groovy energy; an energy we could get down with. We're not talking bellbottoms, afros or free love. We're talking energy in the literal sense. Safer home electricity standards were introduced in the 60's: something we, as inspectors considered groovy. Most importantly, the 1960's brought about the standardization of down-to-earth (grounded) electrical plugs. They protect people and electrical equipment from potentially very...

Last weekend, the roof of a 42-unit condo at the corner of Somerled and Walkley streets in NDG caught fire. Nobody was hurt, but dozens have been left stranded as the building is waterlogged, and has sustained a lot of damage. It took 80 firefighters most of the night to put out the fire. Fire deparment chief Luc Robillard made a statement that it appears that the flames may have started in an air conditioning unit on the roof of the building....

Basements are for Potatoes; no, not couch potatoes. If that's what you were thinking, then you're not alone. Millions of Canadians use their basements as living space, thinking it's the ideal space to set up a family room, games room, or even kids' bedrooms. But in truth, it takes a great deal of careful design and maintenance to avoid water and moisture infiltration in even the best cases. And oftentimes, moisture accumulation results in a nasty - and costly - surprise to the...