Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Who’s at the door? City inspectors visit by appointment only

Are you renovating your basement? Altering the structure of your home? Changing a natural gas, electrical or plumbing system?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, City permits and inspections are required.

Unannounced door-to-door visit

But if someone knocks on your door and asks to inspect your home without an appointment, do not let them in until you can closely examine their City ID. If you're in doubt, call 311.

“Only in unusual circumstances, or where a permit follow-up visit is required, would our inspectors show up unannounced,” says Marco Civitarese, The City of Calgary’s Chief Building Official. “We encourage you to closely scrutinize any ID that is presented when anyone comes to your door. A closer look at an ID presented by an illegitimate individual would show definite flaws."

The City has received several complaints of door-to-door sellers claiming to represent government energy groups and asking to inspect your furnace or water heater to see if it’s safe and energy efficient. They will often come complete with orange vests, picture ID and clipboards of documents.
City of Calgary Safety Code Officers like electrical
inspector Michael De Carlo identify themselves with
picture ID, and unless there are extreme circumstances,
they will have an appointment.

Our inspectors identify themselves with City of Calgary picture ID badges and drive city-marked vehicles. Most of the time, they visit a home to verify that renovations or additions meet Alberta’s safety codes after a Building Permit has been applied for.

Emergency situations

In the event of an emergency, a City inspector will visit without an appointment if:
  • There is visible damage to your property.
  • Electrical or gas repairs are potentially required.
  • Only a qualified, licensed contractor can make repairs before services can be restored safely.

Technical Assistance Centre

Our safety codes officers can provide information and technical assistance in relation to applicable Alberta codes, including building, electrical, plumbing, natural gas and propane. A number of commonly asked technical questions can be found on, along with an online inquiry form for additional questions.

Permit responsibility

Homeowners are responsible for ensuring permits are obtained and inspections are completed. To find out if you need a permit for your work or to check if any required permits and inspections have been completed at your address, contact our Planning Services Call Centre at 403-268-5311.

Additional resources

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