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 Technical bulletins

Technical bulletins

  • April 2017

    Early failure of cabinetry: Is it always the user's fault?

    By Warren Sanhye Jr. Eng., M.A.Sc.,

    Whether it is kitchens or bathrooms, we have all experienced or heard of damages to cabinets linked to humidity. As an example, let's just consider cabinet panels that swell or coating shell (veneer or thermoplastic) that delaminates. This type of degradation usually occurs as a result of long term usage, when the cabinetry components "get old". However, there are many cases where this type of millwork suffers from premature degradation. For instance, when similar damages are visible over multiple units of a building/condominium, it seems obvious that they are not independent and isolated cases.


  • February 2017

    Are de-icers safe for concrete?

    By François d'Entremont P. Eng.,

    Canadian winters are harsh. As temperatures dip below freezing, ice can form on roads and walkways and make them hazardous. One method of keeping ice away is the use of de-icing agents. The oldest and most commonly used compound is salt. However, the use of salt needs to be controlled as it can sometimes be more hurtful than helpful.


  • December 2016

    Oil Heating Systems

    By Alejandro Mejia B.A.Sc.,

    Numerous types of oil heating system component failures have been studied and documented. However, one of the lesser-known and preventable sources of oil escapes are corrosion failures of inline oil filters. While there has been a widespread focus in recent years on the updating of tank designs, inline oil filters represent an overlooked, but significant item for attention from homeowners, maintenance companies, insurers, and lawyers.


  • October 2016

    Designed for Failure: Manufacturing and Design of Residential Brass Plumbing Components

    By Alain Abou Antoun Jr. Eng., M. Eng,

    The durability of a plumbing system is directly dependent on the quality of its component parts and the assembly skills of those who install it. No plumbing system, however well designed, can be expected to operate safely or hygienically if the products or materials used are unsatisfactory. Moreover, even if the best-quality products or materials are used but are installed incorrectly, the system will be a failure.


  • May 2016

    Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Safety

    By Philippe Bouchard Eng., P. Eng., CFEI, CVFI,

    With more electric and hybrid vehicles on our roads, first responders must change the way they handle emergency situations involving these vehicles. This document provides a general description of the special components of electric and hybrid vehicles and an overview of the information required to understand and handle electric and hybrid vehicles in an emergency situation.


  • November 2015

    Are you aware of the new regulation related to asbestos management in buildings?

    By Michel Millmore P.T., CESA,

    In June 2013, modifications were made to the Regulation Respecting Occupational Health and Safety. These modifications gave rise to new obligations for all employers whose personnel could be exposed to materials likely to contain asbestos.


  • July 2015

    Struck by Lightning

    By David Savard P. Eng. CFEI,


  • June 2015

    A Crash Course on Electronic Crash Data

    By Jean-François Goulet Eng., P. Eng., M.A.Sc.,

    Technology is everywhere at home, in your office and in your car. In your car the technology is used for entertainment but also for safety reasons.


  • April 2015

    Problems Relating to Exterior Insulation and Finishing Systems (EIFS)

    By Patricia Fortier P. Eng.,

    With the increased environmental awareness and new energy efficiency regulations for buildings, owners, building operators, architects and engineers are constantly on the look out for new innovative products to meet the latest needs.


  • October 2014

    The Burglar Alarm System: A Powerful Tool for Fire O&C Investigations

    By Stéphane Labonté P. Eng., CFEI, IAAI-CFI,

    Fire alarm panels certainly provide important information during an investigation to determine the origin and cause of a fire. But, what about burglar alarm systems?


  • June 2014

    Sump pumps failures: beware of floods

    By Martin Morissette Eng., CFEI, CVFI,

    Homes and commercial/industrial buildings may have one or more sumps built-in their lowest level floor, which is in the basement for most homes.


  • April 2014

    Structural behavior of concrete

    By Olivier Biron P. Eng.,

    Concrete is a material known for its great strength. Regardless, there are a few weaknesses, which must be taken in consideration in the design of concrete structural elements.


  • February 2014

    Effects of humidity on floor coverings

    By Pieric Savary P. Eng., M. Eng.,

    It is well known that the moisture content of a piece of wood affects its properties. Indeed, when a piece of wood is dried naturally or in a kiln dryer, a decrease of the volume or shrinkage occurs. The effect is reversed (expansion) when the moisture content increases in the material.


  • November 2013

    Block Heaters: the Risks of Comfort!

    By Daniel Roy P. Eng., CFEI, CVFI, Martin Morissette Eng., CFEI, CVFI,

    In Canada, many vehicle owners use block heaters to assist with their winter starting and to kick-start the heating of the passenger compartment.


  • August 2013

    Refrigeration Basics

    By Pier-Luc Vinet-Thibault Eng.,

    The notion of "cooling" items or spaces has been developed and tested as early as the 18th century.


  • May 2013

    Recreational Motorsports

    By Nicolas Rousseau P. Eng., CFEI, CVFI,

    In recent years, we noticed a wave of new enthusiasts for motorized recreational sports, such as snow­mobiling, all-terrain vehicle (ATV), dirt bike or personal watercraft. Indeed, according to the statistics from Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec, over 525,000 off-road vehicles were registered in Quebec in 2010.


  • February 2013

    Materials 101 Stainless Steel : Its Strengths And Limitations For Residential Use

    By Frédéric Bourgeois Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist, Isabelle Murray P. Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist, Assistant Director, Montreal,

    Stainless steel made parts have revolutionized the industrial era due to their stability in various environments.


  • November 2012

    The environmental quality act and insurance claims

    By Michel Millmore P.T., CESA,

    Given the considerable impact caused by the reinforcement of the Environment Quality Act (EQA), it has become essential, particularly within the scope of an insurance claim, to identify with a comfortable level of certainty the source of the contamination and the person responsible for its releasing to the environment.


  • August 2012

    Biomechanics and forensic engineering

    By Érica Beaucage-Gauvreau EIT, M.A.Sc.,

    Accidents happen so easily! In fact, results from a study by the Canadian Public Health Agency show that 226,436 individuals were admitted to a hospital due to bodily injuries between April 2002 and March 2003 and that 13,906 Canadians died as a result of their injuries in 2003.


  • May 2012

    Plumbing 101 - Part 2 brass part failure: the return of an old problem

    By Frédéric Bourgeois Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist, Isabelle Murray P. Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist, Assistant Director, Montreal,

    We recently noticed an important rise of the failure rate of brass made parts installed in modern plumbing networks.


  • February 2012

    The failure of ceramic toilet tanks... A breach in the defense!

    By Philippe Bouchard Eng., P. Eng., CFEI, CVFI, Guy Voisine Eng., P. Eng.,

    A recent judgment from the Quebec Court of Appeal in a case opposing CRANE Canada Inc. and ECONOMICAL INSURANCE COMPANY (in which CEP Forensic Engineering, Inc. had testified as an expert witness in the Quebec Superior Court) will likely change the dynamics in regards to the investigation of failures of ceramic toilet tanks.


  • November 2011

    Green concrete

    By Frédéric Gagnon Eng., M.Sc.,

    The notion of green concrete has nothing to do with its color or even the color of leprechauns! The term refers to concrete that has constituents or manufacturing processes which have a smaller environmental footprint compared to conventional concretes.


  • August 2011

    Residential foundations: behavior below zero

    By Frédéric Gagnon Eng., M.Sc.,

    In cold weather regions, such as Canada and the northern United States, structural deterioration associated with the effect of frost is a common occurrence each winter.


  • May 2011

    Concrete degradation - Part 2: chemical attacks

    By Louis-Samuel Bolduc Eng., M.Sc., Frédéric Gagnon Eng., M.Sc.,

    Concrete is the most used artificial material around the world. The annual production is estimated at 1 cubic meter per person!


  • February 2011

    Concrete degradation in infrastructures

    By Louis-Samuel Bolduc Eng., M.Sc., Frédéric Gagnon Eng., M.Sc.,

    Durability of concrete infrastructures is a growing concern, particularly in cold regions.


  • August 2010

    Gazoline: an explosive subject!

    By Clément Caron P. Eng., IAAI-CFI, Regional Director, Montreal,

    Gasoline is used as a combustible liquid on a regular basis and is so well known that the dangers involved in its handling are often forgotten. This is also the case for several other solvents and combustible liquids used in our daily lives.


  • May 2010

    Did you say pyrite? But what about pyrrhotite?

    By Frédéric Gagnon Eng., M.Sc.,

    Pyrite, also known as fool's gold, is a mineral that has been under direct attack from the diverse players in the housing industry.


  • February 2010

    Plumbing 101 : Enlightening the application of standards in relation with brass parts

    By Isabelle Murray P. Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist, Assistant Director, Montreal, Frédéric Bourgeois Eng., M.A.Sc., Metallurgist,

    Brass parts are commonly integrated to modern commercial, industrial and residential plumbing systems.