Home Painting Regulations in Ontario: How to Ensure Your Local Residents Are Not Threatened by Toxic Paint Fumes

House paint products have a specific purpose and they’re handy to have around, but the dangers of toxic paint fumes are real and can cause serious health problems. For these reasons, communities need to be aware of the risks and what they can do to minimize it.

Painting Safety Tips

Doors and windows should be kept open when someone is painting so the fumes don’t get trapped inside the house. Residents should also install a box fan at a window to force the fumes outdoors. The fan should be kept open during the painting session and for 48 hours more once the paint job is done.

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Children, pregnant women and pets should be kept away from the room / area being painted. People with respiratory problems should also keep away not just from the room but also any open paint cans.

Other Reminders

If the house is more than 20 years old, check for signs of lead paint or better yet, give it a new paint job. Always look for low-toxicity pant, and make sure the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) level is low. Homeowners also need to read the labels and make sure that it doesn’t contain lead and has low VOC levels.

Before you begin painting, cover HVAC and air conditioning units or turn them off because they cannot filter out paint fumes. If you do cover them, make sure to use plastic.

Homeowners should also be reminded to wear gloves, goggles and filtered respirators before painting. Dust masks may suffice in some cases, but for larger paint jobs it may not be sufficient to filter out the vapors and fumes.

Regardless of the gear worn, it’s imperative that the painter keeps windows open and that a safety fan is installed and running. Finally, painters need to take breaks and get some fresh air so they don’t suffer symptoms like dizziness and nausea.

Does Increased Police Presence Reduce Crime in Neighborhoods?

Historically, crime is inevitable. No society existing before or today is not without a justice system designed to punish deviants. However, there are ways to reduce crime. Today, it is easier to deter crime compared to the early 20th century when police officers are easily bought by criminals. A way to reduce crime is to increase police presence.

Will Increased Police Presence actually Reduce Crime?


With the current news of police brutality and discrimination, some are wondering whether it is wise to increase police presence in a certain neighborhood. However, there are studies to show a link in the decreased crime rate and increased police presence.

  • FSU Law Professor Jonathan Klick conducted a study in 2002 that determined a decrease in crimes per day around the National Mall area of Washington D.C. to 3 crimes, or about 15%. The overall city crime rate decreased to 7 crimes per day or 6.6%
  • A study in 2011 by Ben Bradford indicated that a higher level of police presence is linked to lower levels of property crimes committed. A 10% increase of officers in a certain location reduced the crime rate at around 3%.
  • George Mason University’s Dr. Christopher S. Koper conducted a study entitled “Just Enough Police Presence: Reducing Crime and Disorderly Behavior by Optimizing Patrol Time in Crime Hot Spots.” In his study he coined the term “survival time”, indicating the period where there are no “observed criminal activity of disorderly behavior after the police departed.”

In his study, he found that for each additional minute of police stops, survival time increased by 23%. The chances of disorder or crime within 30 minutes after a police drive-by were 16%. For police stops of 10-15 minutes, the chances were reduced to 4%.

These numbers seem to be appealing. However, personal crimes, such as murder, are shown to not decrease even with an increase in police presence. Researchers found that these crimes are normally committed out-of-sight. Hence, criminals would not be deterred even with the presence of police officers if they have a thought out plan.

Though not all crimes are deterred by an increase in police presence, it’s still better than having a continuously increasing crime rate. At least, people are assured that their properties are more secure whenever police officers are around.

How Can Toronto Area Communities Reduce Their Electricity Consumption?

Cutting back on power consumption is one of the main concerns of Toronto communities today, and that’s to be expected given the rising cost of power across many parts of Canada. Fortunately, communities can come together and reduce costs, but for these steps to be effective they must work as a team.

Home Improvement Electricity Savings

Toronto communities can cut electricity costs in many ways, but it all begins in each home. Although some of these suggestions entail some expenses, they’re actually investments that will save you money in the long run.

If the ceilings and walls in your home aren’t insulated yet, it’s time you did because research shows that insulation leads to as much as 30% savings on heating bills alone. If the winter cold in Toronto is driving up the power bill, consider super insulation as it can save you even more money, not to mention CO2 savings as well. Communities should also encourage homes to modernize home windows, that is replacing the traditional ones with double glazed, argon filled windows.


Tree Planting

Tree planting is something that communities should promote extensively for many reasons, not the least of which is trees help cut down energy use. According to the latest studies, trees around homes reduce power costs significantly because they provide shading and breeze, plus CO2 emissions are cut by 2.5 tons annually.

Teach Proper Use of Appliances

Study after study shows that poor management of appliances is one of the main reasons why homes use up a lot of power, and when added up presents Toronto communities with a huge power bill. Fortunately this is an issue that can be resolved by promoting proper use of home appliances.

Here are some tips:

  • Buy only appliances that are certified energy efficient. Older appliances use up more power and should be replaced.
  • Turn off lights, the TV, radio, computer and other appliances that are not used. if you’re not going to use the appliance for several days, then turn off “standby” mode as well.
  • Refrigerators are typically the most power hungry of all appliances so turn it down or make sure that the energy saver option is always turned on.  Refrigerators also use less power when the doors are sealed tight and clean.

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Do a Yearly Checkup of Electrical Appliances

Contact a Toronto electrical contractor and have your appliances checked out once a year to make sure they’re in good order. To avoid problems with skyrocketing bills, communities should urge everyone to have their appliances serviced once a year, especially air conditioners as they’ll use up a lot of power if clogged with dirt.

Offer Power Saving Tips for Community Members

The best way for Toronto communities to offset the rising electricity cost is to offer members guidance and advice on how to cut back on expenses. Apart from those already mentioned here, some seemingly simple measures can actually make a dent in the monthly power bill.

For instance, homes can reduce power consumption by maintaining the temperature of the thermostat, and a programmable thermostat can raise and lower the figure accordingly. In addition, homes can reduce the amount of lighting they use by allowing more sunlight inside.

Speaking of lighting, Toronto homes can save a big chunk off their bills by replacing fluorescent light bulbs with LED. LED lighting is pretty much the standard now and with good reason. Not only are they more energy efficient, but they don’t use as much power and last much longer.

By keeping these simple tips in mind, your Toronto community will be in a much better position to reduce electricity costs.