Archive for April, 2018

Can Your Home Inspector Spot Ineffective Smoke Detectors?

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Although this article is about the southern US, it can apply to homes anywhere

Buying a home in the south may be a wonderful new adventure for you. But, before deciding to plunge into a new home purchase, be sure to get the advice of a certified home inspection company. Preferably, you want an inspector with a certification from American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) because their inspectors are trained to report on structural and dangerous issues found during a home inspection. It’s the kind of things you don’t think about, like plumbing, electrical, attics, foundations, ventilation and smoke alarms when planning a home purchase. And, especially if buying a new home in the Southern part of the United States, there’s good reason to be concerned about what kind of smoke detectors are in your new home.

In recent years, a local journalist from channel WHNT19 in Alabama did a report on the effectiveness of smoke detectors. In this investigation, two different smoke alarms were tested to see how long it would take for their sounding alarms to be triggered. Since household fires account for thousands of deaths each year in Alabama, smoke detection and house fires are legitimate concerns for homeowners.

In fact, a home inspector should know about the different types of smoke detectors on the market and be trained in which is most effective. For many years, ionization smoke alarms have been considered effective means of protection within a home. According to ASHI vice president, Bill Loden, ninety five percent of all homes in America have an ionization smoke detector. The ionization smoke detector marketing claims to be responsive to hot flames and smoke while the photoelectric smoke detector is considered responsive to smoke only. Inside an aquarium, the test began with an iron placed within foam from an old sofa. In the enclosed aquarium, each smoke alarm was places inches beside the smoldering foam to await reaction time to the building smoke. As time was ticking, they waited to see how long it took for each smoke alarm to react. And, the results were astonishing! The ionization smoke detector took seventeen minutes to react whereas the photoelectric smoke alarm took just under three minutes. In a real life situation, a family asleep in their beds would die from carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation before the ionization smoke alarm actually triggered.

From this investigation, it’s clear to see how valuable it is to know about the equipment within your potential new home. And, more importantly, how a certified home inspector could spot and report on smoke alarms that would, ultimately, be ineffectual in your new home. Moreover, in the home inspection process, a home inspector would advise you of all potential hazards with all structural systems like plumbing, electrical, ventilation, as well as foundation and roof hazards. An ASHI certified home inspector would know the difference between an ionization smoke detector and a photoelectric smoke detector. And, his or her knowledge could be life-saving for your family.

Champia Real Estate Inspections provides commercial and residential home inspections in the Atlanta, GA area with Atlanta ASHI certified home inspectors. Our certified inspectors will deliver complete residential reports within 24 hours, with commercial inspection reports returned within 4 days.

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