Welding gets neighbour hot under collar
Dear Robert: I live in a downtown condo highrise building and have two issues: (1) ugliness, and (2) safety.
One of my next-door neighbours is a metalsmith “artist” who specializes in constructing pieces made from used tableware, such as butter knives.
There is a welded butter knife objet d’art dangling from the roof of his balcony and it is an eyesore; it looks like garbage. Is there anything I can do about this?
Second, I believe that my neighbour is using some small-scale welding tools within his unit, as I can often hear what I believe to be welding sounds coming from next door.
Can I do anything about this? I don’t want my building to burn down.
Answer: With respect to the objet d’art dangling from the roof of his balcony, I would suggest that you review your bylaws to determine whether the owners can affix any object to the roof of the balcony.
If the bylaws are silent in this regard, then there may not be much you can do to deal with this issue.
As they say, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.
Your safety issue is of great concern and this is a legitimate risk in a high-density setting.
I would definitely bring your neighbour’s potential welding activity to the attention of the board.
As well, if you have evidence to support your position, you may also want to contact the emergency response department of your municipality to send a fire inspector to inspect the interior of the unit, as your neighbour may be committing fire code violations.
Helpful hint: It is shocking to me how careless people are with fire within close confines, ranging from using propane tanks to heat tomato plants in a shed to barbecuing in the kitchen.
Simply put, some people are stupid about fire safety and you need to call the fire department as a precautionary measure, because it is better to be safe than sorry.
Welding metal sculptures is best done in a commercial studio or shop.