Fire Guy December Newsletter-Dec 5th-07

Hey Bloggers – Fire guy Newsletter cautioning us regarding the safety and care of your Christmas Trees.

PLEASE WATCH THIS VIDEO ~ It’s unbelievable and how quickly things can go wrong in less than 5 seconds!!


xmastree7.gifA Christmas tree is one of the special joys of Christmas. Some artificial trees manufactured to-day are fireproof, but a real tree that you cut down on your own or purchase from a woodlot is a fire hazard, particularly after it has dried out for a week or so in the house.

Tests have shown that a balsam, spruce or pine Christmas tree of average living room size can become a raging torch and be reduced to ashes in less than 20 seconds.

See video on the dangers of a dry tree: Christmas Tree Fire

If using a natural tree, here are some precautions that can be taken to help ensure that your holiday memories remain special.

Use a fresh green tree, not one that has dried out through weeks of storage. A tree can be tested for freshness by rubbing the branches with your hand or by tapping the base of the tree on the ground. If the needles fall off or can be easily pulled off, then the tree is too dry.

Keep the tree outside, preferably under shade until you are ready to use it. Stand the stump in snow or water to maintain the moisture content.

Before bringing the tree inside the house, re-cut the butt diagonally so that it can absorb water, and mount it securely in a large reservoir stand, tub or bucket so that it won’t tip over.

Always keep the exposed cut of the tree trunk immersed in water to prevent the tree from drying out. Check the water level daily and add more as required.

Don’t put a tree, whether natural or artificial, near curtains, candles, a fireplace, heating vent, radiator, television set or other sources of heat. Never block exits with your tree.

If decorating your tree with lights, use only electrical products and extension cords that bear the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) mark. This is your assurance that such products have been tested for safety against fire and shock. Only use lights that have been designed for indoor use.

Carbon monoxide alarms are not mandatory in all areas – it’s just smart!

Bloggers, I receive an e-mail from The Fire Guy about once every 2 months or so – some great tips over the years. This issue talks about Carbon Monoxide Detectors. They’re not mandatory, just smart! Please take a read.

paul_schuster-logo.jpg thefireguy.jpg
The Independent Fire Code Specialist – Protecting Your Interests


Carbon monoxide alarms are not mandatory in all areas – it’s just smart!

Only carbon monoxide alarms bearing the new Canadian Standards Association ULC/CGA-6.19 standard are recommended by the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Committee. The unit may also have a battery back-up.

At least one CO alarm should be installed adjacent to the sleeping area of your home. You may need more than one CO alarm if sleeping areas are located on different levels. And remember to test the unit every month.

Please refer to the manufacturers instructions for details about installation, proper use and maintenance.

The use of CO alarms that meet these standards can warn you about sudden failures of fuel-burning appliances and are a good second line of defense against CO exposure in you home, cottage and recreational vehicle.

The best way to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure all appliances are well serviced and maintained. Have your furnace and chimney serviced regularly. Don’t leave automobiles running in the garage, use barbecues outside only, and operate all gas powered equipment outdoors, in well ventilated areas. CO alarms are not a substitute for maintenance by a qualified technician, and safe use of this equipment can help prevent a carbon monoxide hazard.

Some of the municipalities that have passed By-laws calling for the installation of CO Detectors are:

City of Toronto, City of Brampton, City of Vaughan, Town of Georgina, Town of Richmond Hill, Town of Newmarket, Town of Markham, Town of Orangeville, Town of Pickering, City of Oshawa and the City of Mississauga

Please check with your local By-law Department.


And Don’t forget…


Current Mortgage Rates

5-Year Fixed 5.99%
3-Year VRM 5.50%, Prime minus 0.50%

Bank of Canada

The Bank of Canada lowered its overnight lending rate last week, which in turn allowed the major banks to lower their prime lending rate. The Central Bank cited lower than expected inflation as a driving factor for the reduction. With the holiday season upon us, lower borrowing costs for variable rate mortgages and lines of credit is a welcome relief. The next meeting for the Bank of Canada is January 22nd, 2008.

Quote of the Week

“The person who has no imagination has no wings.”
Muhammad Ali

Paul Croteau
Mortgage Specialist
BMO Bank of Montreal
ph: (905) 321-3230

17th Annual Civic Christmas Carol Concert

Hello Bloggers!

The 17th Annual Civic Christmas Carol Concert Hosted by the St. Thomas Anglican Church will be held Tuesday December 11th, 2007 at Noon. Please see the Link below.

17th Annual Civic Christmas Carol Concert – St. Thomas Anglican Church


Timothy Salisbury
The Salisbury Team
Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage
Toll Free – 1-800-467-8498
Office – 905-937-6000
View My Website at
When Buying or Selling, please remember me!

Christmas In Market Square

Bloggers – Another popular event in December in St. Catharines is the CHRISTMAS IN MARKET SQUARE. It’s running on Saturday’s right at the Market, more information provided below.


Timothy Salisbury
The Salisbury Team
Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage
Toll Free – 1-800-467-8498
Office – 905-937-6000
View My Website at
When Buying or Selling, please remember me!

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit Market Square on December 1, 8, 15, & 22nd from 9am-12nn. Photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus will be available at a cost of $2.00 or bring a canned donation to Community Care. The St. Catharines Downtown Association will be having their annual FREE horse carriage rides on December 1, 8, 15, & 22 from 11a.m.-3p.m.

Attention Landlords in the Niagara Region / Students who will be attending Brock University or Niagara College!

One of my clients has started a website just for you! See below.“If you’re a Landlord, you can post unlimited properties absolutely FREE. Take advantage of landlord forums, a vast landlord resource database, and gain access to significant member only savings.”

Students, this site offers the listings available in proximity to your school. Locate and obtain details by using their interactive map. Also they have information to great deals, and a student resource database as well.

Check it out – The link is


Timothy Salisbury
The Salisbury Team
Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage
Toll Free – 1-800-467-8498
Office – 905-937-6000
View My Website at
When Buying or Selling, please remember me!

2008 Resale Home Market To Remain Strong

Hey Bloggers – CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) just sent me their fall press release for the St.Catharines area. In summary, the resale home market will remain strong for 2008 but new construction will decline.


Resale home market will be strong, but construction will retreat

TORONTO, NOVEMBER 6, 2007 – Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
released its latest forecast for the St. Catharines Niagara Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) today in the St. Catharines-Niagara Housing Market Outlook, Fall 2007 edition. Reports are also available for Canada and other major metropolitan areas across the country.

Highlights of the Housing Market Outlook Report include:

• MLS® sales will remain high and close to the record set in 2004. About 6,600
units are expected to change hands in 2008, only 1.5 per cent lower than the
peak in 2004.

• With new listings growing faster than sales, the resale home market will become
more balanced. Price growth will ease to about four per cent in 2008.

• New home construction will continue to retreat in 2008 and will total 930 units.
Competition from the resale market will result in fewer new single-detached
starts. Multiple-family home starts will be very close to the level seen in 2007.

• Employment will remain flat. The strong Canadian dollar and high energy costs
will continue to impact the manufacturing and tourism sectors negatively.

“Affordability will be key to housing demand,” said David Lan, St Catharines-Niagara Market Analyst. “Low mortgage carrying costs and respectable income growth in the service sector will drive demand for medium-priced resale homes. Spill-over demand to the new home market will be limited. New single-detached home starts will retreat because their higher prices will drive many consumers back to the much more affordable resale home market.

“A combination of a slowing U.S economy, strong Canadian dollar vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar, and moderate inflation will help keep Canadian interest and mortgage rates low over the remainder of this year and in 2008”, added Lan.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has been Canada’s national housing agency for over 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country. For more information, visit or call 1 800 668-2642.

For further information, please contact:
St. Catharines-Niagara CMA: David Lan, Market Analyst, (416) 218-3424
Ontario: Ted Tsiakopoulos, Regional Economist, (416) 218-3407
Canada: Bob Dugan, Chief Economist (613) 748-4009