Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

As you are getting ready to decorate for the holidays:

Remember to check the amperage, use compatibility (indoor or outdoor) and the physical condition of extension cords. Is it frayed, worn and the proper size.

Advertisements

This is how myself and some other fire department personnel from Alabama and Florida spent our morning. I do not know if anyone was texting, but I am saying always think safety. A text, phone call or other distraction from driving can cause major wrecks and more.

20160615_080453

 

 

This wreck kept traffic backed up for hours trying to cross the Lillian bridge.

Please be safe and use your head

I just finished an inspection that the client didn’t want, at first. Her lending institution told her she needed one to get a loan. (That’s another story) During the course of the inspection things went very well. The house was 30 plus years old and had recently been rehabbed by someone local.

When I got to the heating and cooling I found an item which costs only a few dollars and it was incorrectly installed which could cost someone their life. I found that someone used a clothes dryer vent pipe for a gas flu vent type “b” vent. Needless to say, this won’t work, the back side of the vent was cooked with a large hole in it. Carbon monoxide had been pouring into the house while doing this home inspection until I found this safety issue.

IMGP7867

I immediately turned the heater off and asked the clients and their young kids to go outside and get some fresh air. Fortunately they had not been there but a very short time and fresh air is all they needed and they refused medical treatment. I do carry a small medical bag with me and checked my SPO2 levels which were fine.

Lots of lessons to be learned here. Above all else, GET A HOME INSPECTION!

In the recent past I have started using a full face respirator. Currently model 3m 6898 which gives me lots of protection form respiratory stresses. It feels somewhat claustrophobic at first, but after some time it gets easier to use. Just being in  a crawlspace can be touch enough, it’s dusty, wet, stinky and usually very close quarters. This face mask allows easier breathing, literally. During an inspection last week, the mold was so bad under the home some of the floor, joists and beams were not visible. There is no way I want to breath that stuff! As you may know, all of this “stuff” getting into your eyes can’t be good for you either.

3m respirator

I wear a disposable Tyvek suit, full face mask, gloves and special shoes at almost every crawlspace.

 

 

 

 

 

Mold infested crawlspace

IMGP8373

Some months ago we starting looking into drones. We have gone ahead and purchased a Phantom III for testing and hopefully we will be able to use it as part of our services soon.
Yesterday I pulled up to my inspection and found out it was a 3 story commercial building with no roof access. It didn’t take long for the lights to come on in my brain….so, I called my wife who is becoming the operator of the drone and she showed up on site an hour later. The video is a shortened edition of what we could see. From the ground I could see nothing, so any viewing was a huge improvement. This approach certainly was a lot safer than climbing a 40″ ladder! With this Phantom III we got a birds eye view of the roof and found several leaks and a few other minor concerns.
Stay tuned for more to come

DJI_0001.00_10_28_13.Still010https://www.youtube.com/embed/5aUPjZv_g4c“>http://

 

 

We found these problems with this chimney during a recent home inspection.

ChimneyFlashingDiagram IMGP8684

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base flashing had been removed and someone painted on roofing cement in an ill attempt to stop water leaks. From the ground these repairs looked a little off, but nothing very alarming. My home inspector antennae went up just enough to make sure I got a closer look. These repairs have been leaking for sometime and there is an unknown amount of wood rot surrounding the chimney in the attic.

 

The chimney cap mortar has completely disintegrated and was falling off the chimney while we were there. Rain had been getting inside and causing even more problems. Upon closer examination, we found a crack at the outside of the chimney which carried through to the clay liner inside. This is certainly a fire and safety hazard!

IMGP8685 IMGP8687

 

 

 

 

 

 

The buyers are certainly glad we climbed the roof and found these dangerous and very costly problems during our home inspection.

 

 

As I have discussed before safety is always a concern during home inspections. Whether I’m in a crawlspace with vermin and mold, a roof too steep or too high to climb and some wild animal life around the home there is always some danger.

The other day I encountered all of these at one inspection.

IMGP7659 IMGP7670

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This building was being guarded by an alligator and shark!

We are often confronted with potential unsafe conditions.

IMGP8822

 

Whether it’s entering crawlspaces under homes or trying to make it through a golf tournament.

 

download

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You just never know all the Things We Do.

Yes, more fire safety talk. It seems everywhere I turn lately there is more convincing evidence that most of our current smoke & carbon monoxide detectors are not as safe as we would like to think. I’m talking about Ionization type. A few quick Google searches and a newer type called “Photoelectric” will keep popping up.

Both types can and do alert us, but there are some big differences. Below are some samples of what I have come to learn recently along with some interesting quotes.

Will combination units be the next best thing?!

“A smoke detector that sounds approximately nineteen minutes after smoke reached its sensing chamber is like an airbag that does not deploy until nineteen minutes after
a car accident.”

- Judge David E. Schoenthaler, Mercer v. Pitway/BRK Brands (First Alert)

Among the objectives of a smoke characterization study conducted by UL in 2007 were to develop recommendations to UL 217 and allow for the development of new smoke-sensing technologies. As a result of UL’s project, the following was identified for future consideration: “Requiring the use of combination ionization and photoelectric alarms for residential use in order to maximize responsiveness to a broad range of fires.”

The reason for this recommendation was that “Some of the evaluated flaming and non-flaming test scenarios triggered one but not both photo and ion alarms within the alarm response time criteria specified in UL 217.”

Ionization alarms are notorious for nuisance tripping. They frequently go off when you cook, burn toast, shower, etc. When alarms nuisance trip, people become frustrated and intentionally disable them. Most of us, including myself have removed a battery or pulled a unit off the wall intending to “fix it tomorrow”

In summary…I am heading to my local Big Box store to look at some combination units, I think you should do the same