Top 5 Common Safety hazards

DIY Electrical

Home inspections are observations of home systems and components at or around the inspected property.  Most home inspections reveal some defect.

Some deficiencies are more important than others, especially if they can lead to serious injury or even death.

Disclaimer:  This information is not intended to be a comprehensive list of considerations.  It does not expand the scope of inspection or amend or replace the California Standards of Practice (SoP) used by All Home Inspections, Inc..

Here are the top 5 safety hazards a home inspector finds during Sacramento home inspections:

  1. Loose garbage disposal – 10%

1 in 10 homes inspections found deficient garbage disposals which pose safety hazards.

Kitchen sink garbage disposals involve electricity, water, and moving parts.  But years of use and vibrating  can loosen its connection to the sink.

The risks of falling disposals, stressed electrical connections, and water leaks are all good reasons to keep your garbage disposal maintained.

  1. Self-closing garage door – 15%

1 in every 6 houses inspected have deficient self-closing fire separated garage doors.  Annually in the U.S. over 6,600 residential house fires originate in the garage.

Garages are where people store fuels, chemicals, and there is usually an ignition source (water heater, HVAC, starting car).  If there is a fire in the garage, then a closed fire separation door can mean the difference between occupants having time to get out of the house safely… or not.

Fire separation doors are engineered to be “fire separation” barriers.  The door are either: 1) solid wood not less than 1-3/8” thick; 2) a solid or honeycomb core steel door not less than 1-3/8” thick; or 3) a 20-minute fire-rated door.  All must have a self-closing device.

Self-closing garage doors can be accomplished a number of ways.  The most common way is to install a spring-loaded hinge.

  1. GFCI Plugs – 21%

Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCI) are now required in kitchens, bathrooms, exterior outlets, garages, and laundry rooms.  These safety devices sense electrical imbalance between the hot and neutral, and react as quickly to shut off power and prevent electrocution.  1 in 5 Sacramento homes are GFCI deficient.

  1. Evidence of Rodents in Attic – 40%

Rodents (i.e. rats), can carry disease and are unwelcomed visitor to homes.  In Sacramento, Norway Rats (Rattus Norvegicus) are frequent visitors to yards, basements, and crawl spaces, while roof rats often found in house attics and 2nd story rooms.

2 in 5 homes inspections note evidence of rat infestation.  Norway rats breed 4-6 times and wean 20+ offspring each year, living within 300 feet of a food source.

Rats chew and tunnel into walls to make their nests, undermine foundations, and chew through wiring.  An electrocuted the rat can create a fire in walls or attics.

For public health and safety reasons, rat infestations top the list of most common safety deficiencies in Sacramento homes.

  1. Water heater TPR discharge pipe – 12%

Temperature / pressure-relief (TPR) valves are safety valves installed on water heaters or boilers, so if pressure becomes too high, instead of bursting, the heated water has an outlet which safely reduces pressure.

The TPR valve must have an attached discharge pipe.  This allows water to safely escape and drain away from the device, so someone near the water heating device is not scalded by spraying hot water.

1 in 7 Sacramento homes are deficient in having a sufficient discharge pipe attached to TPR valves.

All Home Inspections provides prompt and thorough inspections in Arden Park, Sacramento, West Sacramento, Folsom, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, Carmichael, El Dorado Hills, Roseville, and Rocklin.  If you have questions about a home inspection or checklist, then call us: 916-333-0540.  We will answer your questions and provide next day service on most home inspections.

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