Tuesday, August 23, 2011
The first new regulation I had to contend with was the radon test. Apparently if your house is above a rock there is the chance of dangerous radioactive release which can cause cancer, herpes and hiccups. My neighbor sold his house three years ago and failed the radon test. He had to install $1000 worth of anti-radon equipment which re-circulated air out of his basement until the radon level was below the 2 radiles per nano-fart level.
Fortunately I passed this test. Placing the collector next an open window may have helped; an electric fan may have also aided in the process. I must say it is somewhat disturbing that the government was concerned about the safety of the new owner next door, but does not give a poop about me or my family. They only demand a radon test when I want to move.
Next, an inspector determined that there was an abandoned oil tank on my property. Buried and apparently forgotten at least twenty years before I bought the house, this is suddenly a major health concern. Nobody cared while I lived there, but now it is a big health concern. It costs $2500 to dig up the tank, determine there was no contamination, fill the tank with sand and cover it up again. Wow, now I feel safe, and the drinking water of the whole state of New Jersey is now safe.
Finally I had to get a certificate from the town confirming the house had adequate carbon monoxide/ smoke detectors and a portable fire extinguisher at hand. The house does have an extinguisher in the kitchen; there is a smoke detector on the first and second floors, and a carbon monoxide detector on the first floor. This is not up to code. Code calls for a CM and a smoke detector on all three floors and in the basement. (Why not one in every room?) If my house was not safe, why do I not find out until I am trying to sell and leave? Why are these codes only important when you sell? Why doesn’t it worry anyone that my house isn’t safe until I will no longer be in it?
If these regulations are so important, shouldn’t they be adhered to and implemented before I sell my house? It cost $125 for my CM/Smoke detector certificate. There was no inspection, I only had to sign-off that everything was up to code. That is one expensive piece of worthless paper.
In New Jersey we used to have our cars inspected every year. The inspection station checked horn, wipers, headlights, turn indicators, breaks, break lights, steering, shocks, tires and exhaust emissions. Lines for this yearly exam were hours long, and the average car failed about 40% of the time. When the state needed to cut costs, suddenly the inspection was only needed every two years, five years for new cars, and they only test the emissions. All of a sudden it is not important if my car is safe or not, but let’s make sure we don’t pollute.
Please politicians, give me more regulations. I am clearly too stupid to survive without you holding my hand.