Pools – Municipal By-laws and Neighborhood Safety Requirements

With the warmer weather finally upon us; pool season is also on its way.  Here are some important things to remember as you get set to open your pool for the summer months.

Each Municipality will have specific by-laws regarding fence requirements around your swimming pool.  Pools need to be fenced and gates secured to ensure the safety of everyone in the area.  If you are unsure of the specific requirements in your area, it’s worth making a call to your local Municipality to ensure you are adhering to local by-laws.

Standing water on pool covers can also pose a risk to public safety as it can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes and West Nile virus.  Drain pool covers regularly and check your property for other sources of standing water.  Mosquito larvae will appear as small wriggling “worms” attached to the surface of the water or swimming near the bottom. Small containers should be drained or refilled with fresh water regularly.  There are products available to treat permanent bodies of water that can’t be drained such as ponds.  These bacterial insecticides specifically treat mosquito and black fly larvae and won’t harm plants, fish or other animals that drink the water.

By taking a few precautions you will be able to enjoy your backyard swimming pool worry-free all summer long.

 

 

 

Choosing the Right Contractor

At some point, most of us will need to hire a contractor to complete a project or repair in our home.  Finding one who will be professional, reliable and experienced is key.  Many of the best contractors don’t have to advertise.  That’s because they can build their clientele based on referrals and word of mouth.  The best starting point to locate these contractors is to speak with family, friends and coworkers; see who they’ve used and if they were happy with the work that was done.

It’s important to choose someone who specializes in the type of work you require; trying to stay as local as possible to avoid potential travel/distance issues.  If you receive a referral from someone you know, dig further by checking the Better Business Bureau or local Consumer Affairs Agency for any complaints that may have been filed against the contractor or company.

Another point to consider is whether the contractor is licensed to work in your area, bonded and insured.  If someone is injured on the job site, you don’t want to be held liable.

For more information on what to look for when hiring a contractor, you can visit the Canadian Home Builders Association’s website at www.chba.ca

 

 

 

Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Did you know every home in Ontario is required to have working smoke detectors on every level?  As well, if you have any type of fuel burning device, you must also have a carbon monoxide detector adjacent to all sleeping areas.

Examples of fuel burning devices include; home furnace, space heater, decorative fireplace, wood stove, kitchen stove or grill, gas/charcoal barbeque, hot water heater, automobile (if attached garage is present).

According to requirements under the OBC (Ontario Building Code) and the OFC (Ontario Fire Code); all newly constructed residential buildings require installation of a CO detector.  All existing residential dwellings required the detectors be installed by April 2015.

It is a good idea to test all devices several times a year to ensure they are functioning correctly.  Also be aware of low batteries if applicable and expiration dates listed on the device itself.

For further information, please visit:

Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services – http://www.mcscs.jus.gov.on.ca/

Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs – http://www.oafc.on.ca/

 

Extended Trips Away from Home?

With the colder winter months almost upon us, many Canadians are planning extended trips away to enjoy warmer climates.  Extended trips away from home may require special attention in terms of checking your property in accordance with your Homeowners Insurance Policy.  It is a good idea to contact your Broker or Insurance provider directly to determine what your responsibilities are in accordance with your Policy.  Many Insurance providers require vacant property inspections be completed in order to ensure your coverage is not interrupted.  Some time spent researching specific requirements before you leave can help prevent a lot of headaches down the road.  Happy travels!

Did You Know?

Many utility companies offer an annual maintenance program for heating, plumbing and air conditioning.  For an annual fee, they will schedule an inspection of your systems (typically twice per year) and provide recommendations at a savings from their typical service call prices.  Also, many offer 24 hour emergency service at reduced fees as a benefit of the annual plan.  Contact your local utility companies to see what they have to offer and get peace of mind that everything is covered.

MFS Customer Appreciation night

As part of its ongoing recognition of the importance played by its clients, MFS Property Services Inc. hosted an informal reception at the historic Campbell House Museum in Toronto on June 18, 2015.

Attendees were treated to a wine tasting bar courtesy of Sue Ann Staff Estate Winery and delicious hors d’oeuvres as well as an opportunity to explore a piece of Toronto’s history.