Firestops are methods of passively protecting homes from fire damage. They can restore the ability of a rated firewall to keep fires from spreading into neighboring floors, rooms, or condominiums units. Inspectors should know how to identify a faulty firestop and should always call it out when they’re missing. To find out more, check out our new article on firestops. Learn about what they are made of, how they work, and why they are so important.
Ever hear of hantavirus? It is extremely deadly, there is no cure, and the most likely place that you’ll find it is in homes. Those are pretty good reasons for inspectors to learn about it. Fortunately, it’s very rare, and if you know how it is transmitted you will further reduce your chances of being harmed by it. Check out our new article on hantavirus danger in homes to find out more about this virus and how to avoid it.
Newer ranges are light enough that it doesn’t take much weight to cause them to tip over, but they’re heavy enough to injure or kill small children trapped beneath. Hot items on the stovetop, too, can burn or scald anyone who accidentally tips the range over. Anti-tip brackets can prevent this from happening and they are required by UL standards but they aren’t installed in a huge portion of ranges. Inspectors should know how to check for brackets and what to tell the client if none are found. Check out our new article on anti-tip brackets for ranges to find out more about these safety devices and why they are so valuable.
When homes lose too much air pressure due to exhaust fans and other appliances it becomes possible for backdrafting to occur. This is a common way for dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide to enter the living space unnoticed and harm or kill the occupants. Luckily, it is sometimes possible to test for backdrafting. To find out more about how it happens and how inspectors can test for it, check out our new article on backdrafting for inspectors.
Grounding electrodes are essential safety measures in every home, but even if they’re there it doesn’t mean that they will work if they are needed. Water pipe electrodes are particularly prone to failing because plumbers sometimes replace metal portions with nonconductive plastic pipes and nothing is done to correct the grounding system. Take a look at our new article on home service grounding electrodes to find out more about the different types you might encounter and how they work.
Pool fencing is not a subject that is most inspectors know much about, and most don’t include it in their services. It’s a good idea to learn the basic requirements of pool fencing, however, since many children are killed due fences that are not built to code. Take a look at our new article on outdoor pool barriers to find out more about how they should be constructed.
New home construction is wired a lot differently than it used to be, using well-insulated, grounded cables. Still, they must be installed correctly in order to ensure that they don’t create unsafe situations. Inspectors should know the differences between the types of cables commonly found in homes and be able to spot defective installations. They should also be prepared to encounter wiring systems that are very old and obsolete. Take a look at our new article on common types of electrical wiring to find out more.