Safety considerations are part of every property inspection. DoubleCheck Inspectors will check whether the property meets current standards but will also look at practical aspects of safety. Following are some elements of our safety check:


Railings and handrails must be of a defined height from the walking surface. They are also required for exterior decks and landings that are higher 24 from the grade or previous level. Handrails must be a minimum of 42 above the walking surface. These exterior components of the home need to review periodically for damage such as rot and rust. Some repairs need to be considered as time passes.

In an older home having lower handrails with wider spacing ballasters the owner would not necessarily consider this as a safety hazard. To someone moving from a new home to a lovely downtown older home location this could be a problem in two ways. Firstly handrail height is a defined elevation given by the Ontario Building Code today. Years ago there was not the same defined requirement along with the spacing of ballasters. The spacing of ballasters has been worked out to the size of an infants head. That is to say an infant should not be able to get its head between and through the space provided as defined in the Ontario Building Code.


Stairs must have a regular rise and run and should be comfortable. Professionals advise that a rise not higher than 178 mm (7 inches) with a run not shorter than 279 mm (11 inches) as well as a minimum headroom of 1.95 m along the length of the stairway in homes. The most common problem occurs when new wood flooring is layed over an existing flooring. This raises the last step 3/4 to 1 inch higher than the other risers and creates a trip-hazzard.


Since 1985, ground fault circuit interrupters are required in all bathrooms and exterior outlets to protect from shock. Arc fault detectors are now required for bedroom outlets. This outlet shuts off when arcing is detected in the wiring. Since January 1, 2003 new homes require 20-ampere ground fault circuit interrupters for outlets within 1 metre of the kitchen sink. These have a “T” slot, which indicates they will handle a greater load. A kitchen today may require up to 7 circuit breakers, where as an older kitchen would require only a few.


Inspectors will check trap primers, which supply water to the floor drain to prevent sewer gas from leaking into the house. In February of 2004, the Building Code was amended to require hot water temperature supplied to fixtures in residential homes not to exceed 49 degrees Celsius. Dishwashers and washing machines are exempt. This change is intended to reduce the danger of scalding. This code change applies both to new homes and when there are alterations made to the plumbing system of an existing homes, including the replacement or new installation of a water heater. This includes the installation of an anti-scald valve. Water filtering systems include ultraviolet and carbon-filter systems. These require inspection, testing and maintenance. Garb orators are no longer allowed in any home in the city of Ottawa.

Inspect first! To book a DCI inspection online Click Here ; email us at,or call 1-613-322-3682.

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Central Mortgage and Housing Canada (CMHC) has a wealth of information on home ownership. CMHC is located at 800 Montreal Road in Ottawa. You may wish to e-mail or contact them by: telephone at 1-800-688-2642, or by fax at 1-800-245-9274






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