Category Archives: Safety

Fire hazard: Wood stove flue

The wood stove flue pictured here is in direct contact with roof tar paper, a clear safety issue.  If you’ve ever tried to light tar paper, you’d find it makes great fire starter!  Double-wall metal flues typically require at least two (2) inches “free and clear” of combustible materials for safety reasons.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.  Further evaluation and repair by a qualified contractor was advised for safety reasons.

VIDEO: Holes in Furnace Flue Pipe SAFETY ISSUE!

Inspecting the furnace at a recent home inspection in Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island, I noted corrosion, deterioration and holes in the flue pipe which is a clear safety issue. This particular furnace was 15 years old and approaching the end of its expected life. It’s important to service your furnace on an annual basis for optimal performance, longevity and safety reasons.

Your vermiculite insulation could contain asbestos

If you have insulation in your attic that looks like this picture, it may be vermiculite insulation. This type of insulation could contain asbestos.  Testing for asbestos is outside the scope of the home inspection and requires laboratory sampling.  Here’s a link (click HERE) to the EPA brochure with more information about vermiculite insulation.  This was discovered at a recent home inspection in Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Has your Cadet heater been recalled?

If you have a Cadet electric wall heater, you should check this link (click HERE) to see if it has been recalled by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission).  This Cadet FX model wall heater was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island.  Replacement by a qualified electrician was advised.

VIDEO: Zinsco Electrical Panel – SAFETY ISSUE!

Sylvania Zinsco electrical panels are known in the home inspection industry to be safety issues and replacement is typically advised by home inspectors. This particular Zinsco panel was discovered at a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. The issue concerns the connection between the breakers themselves and the aluminum fin bus bar which can become compromised and lead to arcs, faults and fires. Home Inspection 101 covers this for all licensed home inspectors to be called out as a safety issue for clients. Were this my home, the very first thing I’d do is replace the Zinsco electrical panel entirely.

Electrical trouble: double-tapping

At a recent home inspection in Mount Vernon, Washington, I noted dangerous double-tapping or electrical wires in the old electrical panel.  Double-tapping the main service entrance conductors (wires) at an older fuse panel is a definite safety issue that can lead to overheating of the undersized wires and at the lugs themselves.  Double-tapping is where two (2) electrical wires are connected under one screw or terminal in an electrical panel.  Further evaluation and repair by a qualified electrician was advised.  It would also be prudent to update the old fuse panel for improved safety.

Video: BURIED Old Knob-and-Tube Electrical Wiring (Major Safety Issue!)

At a recent home inspection this week in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island I discovered, to my complete and utter dismay, original (old) knob-and-tube electrical wiring in an attic BURIED underneath fiberglass insulation and in direct contact with framing members, clear and well known safety issues. It’s imperative to maintain proper clearances around this old wiring as it can overheat causing a possible fire. Please don’t insulate your attic if you have old knob-and-tube wiring! The insulation looked professionally installed, which is why I was completely baffled to see such an egregious, irresponsible apparent contractor oversight. The insulation will need to be removed and proper clearance around all old, original knob-and-tube wiring provided for safety reasons. Better yet, upgrade the old wiring and be done with it!

How to Turn the Gas OFF to Your Home!

This video explains how to turn off the gas at the gas meter from a recent home inspection in Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. It’s important to know where your shutoff valves are located, and how to turn them off in the event of an emergency.

All Islands Home Inspections services all of the San Juan Islands, including Orcas Island, San Juan Island, Friday Harbor, Shaw Island, Lopez Island and non-ferry served islands. We also service Anacortes and all of Skagit County, Whatcom County, Whidbey Island and all of Island County.

If you’re looking for a home inspector that’s so thorough and experienced you won’t end up buying the “Money Pit,” then you need Tim Hance of All Islands Home Inspections working for you. Tim Hance is a board certified Master Home Inspector who has personally conducted over 8,000 home inspections. Tim Hance is college educated (University of Washington, B.S. Chemistry, 1996), was a licensed contractor for a decade prior to becoming a home inspector and has extensive experience in real estate development.

 

 

January Fireplace Safety

Keep your family safe with these fireplace safety tips. Build the right size fire, and baby proof the fireplace. Heed safety concerns when cleaning a fireplace and chimney. Learn about fireplace inspection and proper disposal of fireplace ashes. Not sure if you need a chimney sweep to come out to your house? Or, concerned about getting your home dirty? And, what is the difference between having your chimney inspected and having it swept? Chimney Safety Institute of America offers two short online tutorials that walk you through the basics on chimney sweeping and inspections.

Winter holiday safety tips

Winter holidays are a time for families and friends to get together. But that also means a greater risk for fire. Following a few simple tips will ensure a happy and fire-safe holiday season. 

Holiday decoration fires are most likely to happen in the living room, family room or den. Almost half of all home decoration fires are started by candles. Half of holiday decoration fires happen because decorations are placed too close to a heat source. Blow out lit candles when you leave the room or go to bed. Turn off all light strings and decorations before leaving home or going to bed. See more of the National Fire Protections Association’s suggestions for winter holiday decorating and entertaining safety.