Below are some frequently asked questions and links to sites that can provide supplemental information and may assist you in knowing how to handle deficiencies in your home inspection report.
Current standards require smoke alarms inside every sleeping room, in the immediate vicinity of each sleeping area, and on every level within the building (including finished basements and habitable attics). We recommend installation of smoke alarms that utilize photoelectric technology.
Qualified fire protection experts believe that ionization-type smoke alarms are not reliable and that their failures have resulted in many home fire related deaths. We understand that over 90% of all home-installed smoke alarms are the potentially hazardous type. Photoelectric-type smoke alarms are considered much safer and we strongly recommend each alarm device be checked and replaced as needed. It may be necessary to dismantle the alarms to identify which type has been installed. We do not test nor dismantle smoke detectors/alarms during our inspections.
Carbon Monoxide Alarms:
California requires dwellings to have carbon monoxide alarms installed on every floor of the building (including the basement), and outside of each separate dwelling unit sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms. We recommend the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in all the appropriate locations for improved safety.
Some older electrical panels are dangerous because the panels and breakers do not work as intended and present a fire risk. GTE Sylvania (formerly Zinsco) and Federal Pacific are two panel manufacturers whose panels should be evaluated and/or replaced by a licensed electrical contractor.
Visit IsMyPanelSafe.com for more information
American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) – National Organization dedicated to upholding professional excellence throughout the industry and encouraging its members to achieve the highest credentials in the field.
Golden Gate ASHI – Local Chapter of the national organization
Bay Area Earthquake Maps & Info
California Earthquake Brace & Bolt Program
Skinny Braces Earthquake Retrofitting for “Soft Story” conditions
Berkeley BESO Energy Assessment
Piedmont Home Energy Score Assessment
Home Energy Score (US Department of Energy)
BAYREN (Bay Area Regional Energy Network) Energy Rebates and Financing