Consumer Information


Massachusetts consumers interested in a home inspection should start at the brochure,
Home Inspectors Facts for Consumers Sheet, published by the Director of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. The brochure was produced after consultation with the Board of Registration of Home Inspectors and the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons.  
 
Selected text from the Home Inspectors Facts for Consumers Sheet. 
  • "A standard home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building consisting of one to four dwelling units. It should be understood that there are certain risks inherent in the purchase of property and a home inspection is inherently limited in its scope and depth." 
  • "Home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any invisible or latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional."
  • "It is important that you provide safe access and sufficient lighting so that the inspector can inspect the property."

Consumer Information Links

Electrical
Electrical Fire Safety - Local Fire Departments reported that there were many structure fires caused by electrical problems in Massachusetts. Visit the Public Safety website for more information on electrical fire safety.


 

MassDEP
Checklist for a Hazard-Free Home - Visit The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) website if you are a homeowner considering placing your home on the market, or you are looking at properties to buy, this checklist will help you in your evaluation. You should allow a minimum of six months to complete work implied in the checklist. Information may change as we learn more about environmental and health risks.
 
Asbestos Contractor List - Contractors performing asbestos abatement work in Massachusetts are required to be licensed by the MA Department of Labor Standards. The license ensures that the contractor has attended an approved asbestos abatement training course and is monitored by DLS health and safety inspectors for safe work practices. Property owners should only hire asbestos abatement contractors that provide proof of licensure by the DLS and evidence that the job supervisor and workers have approved certifications issued by DLS. For questions about an asbestos contractor’s licensing history and status, you may call DLS at (617) 626-6960.
 
Drinking Water Program - When MassDEP issues a public health order to a local public water supplier(PWS), the PWS must notify its customers of the actions the customers should take. The PWS must also take appropriate corrective action, continue to monitor its water supply, and notify customers when the problem has been remedied and the water order has been lifted.

Municipal Water Use Restrictions - MassDEP monitors municipal outdoor water use restrictions from May 1st to September 30th each year.
 
Exterior
Vinyl Siding Advisory  - August 2010 "The Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS – the state board that promulgates the Massachusetts State Building Code-780 CMR) has become aware that under certain circumstances, vinyl siding, in the presence of window-reflected sunlight, can distort, and in some instances significantly distort."
Termites - Consumer Information Bulletin.  The Pesticide Enforcement  of the Department of Agricultural Resources requires that pest control operators provide this Bulletin to all persons who want their property treated for termites.

Lead Paint Inspectors - Search for Massachusetts licensed lead paint inspectors.
 
Plumbing & Heating
Homeowner Oil Heating System Upgrade and Insurance Law -  "By September 30, 2011, you must upgrade your home heating system equipment to prevent leaks from tanks and pipes that connect to your furnace"
Regarding Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) - February 2009 "WHEREAS, Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing ("CSST") is subject to nearby (a.k.a. indirect) lightning strikes causing electrical arching which can rupture CSST products leading to property damage and potential injuries or death;" 
Asbestos Cement Pipe - Common materials that may contain asbestos include thermal insulation on boilers, ducts and pipes, vinyl floor tiles, ceiling tiles, various astics (i.e. glues), and asbestos cement products, including asbestos cement pipes.
Consumer Advisory: Direct Vent Gas Appliances - The Division of Professional Licensure and the Board of State Examiners of Plumbers and Gas Fitters are issuing an advisory to consumers who may have direct vent gas appliances in their house or property.
Radon
 
Radon Fact Sheet -  The only way to determine the concentration of radon in your home is to do a radon test.  The EPA recommends taking a short-term test followed by a second short- or long-term test if the results from the first test are equal to or greater than 4 pCi/L. If the short-term test result is more than twice the EPA action guideline of 4pCi/L, the second, confirmatory test should be a short-term test, and it should be done immediately. Results from the second round of testing should be used to confirm the need for radon mitigation.