Smoke alarms are one of the most crucial systems related to your safety in your home. Smoke alarms are generally very affordable. So, why are so many homes missing smoke alarms, or have installed smoke alarms that don't operate? Below are some facts related smoke alarms and occupant deaths:
Smoke alarms provide a critical early warning of fire, allowing additional time to escape. National estimates of reported fires derived from the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) and the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA’s) fire department survey show that in 2009-2013, fires in homes with no smoke alarms caused an average of 940 deaths per year (38% of home fire deaths). An additional 510 people per year (21% of home fire deaths) were fatally injured in fires in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate. Power source problems were the leading cause of smoke alarm failures.
Almost all households indicate having smoke alarms, yet smoke alarms were present in slightly less than three-quarters (73%) of reported home fires and operated in roughly half (53%). When present in reported fires large enough to activate them, they operated 87% of the time. Hardwired smoke alarms were more likely to operate than those powered solely by batteries.
The death rate per 100 reported fires was more than twice as high in homes with no or no working smoke alarms (1.18 deaths per 100 fires) as it was in fires with working smoke alarms (0.53 deaths per 100 fires). The lowest fire death rates were seen in homes with hardwired smoke alarms andsprinklers. Victims in homes with working smoke alarms were more likely to have been in the area of origin. They were also more likely to be 65 or older, to have a physical disability or to have tried to fight the fire themselves.
CSST is flexible, corrugated stainless steel tubing used to supply natural gas and propane in homes, schools, hospitals, commercial and industrial buildings. It is not the same product as an appliance connector, which is a similar flexible piping that connects directly to moveable appliances like ovens, hot water heaters, grills, ranges or dryers from the wall or floor. CSST piping is an extremely thin-walled piping system that can be routed beneath, through and alongside the basement joists, inside the interior wall cavity or through attic spaces. The thinness of the tubing wall makes it susceptible to damage from direct and in-direct lightning strikes to the structure where it is used. Unlike black iron pipe, which easily withstands the affects of lightning, CSST wall thickness is readily breached when arching occurs. Testing reveals that when a pinhole in the wall of the CSST is created by arcing, ignition of the leaking gas can occur leading to a gas-fueled fire in the structure.
How do you respond if you believe your home may have CSST in it? Contact a professional home inspector. We can help you find the information you need to decide what your next steps.
Call me. I can help!
Why weep holes?
What are weep holes?
According to Wikipedia : A weep, a weep hole, or a weep-brick is a small opening that allows water to drain from within an assembly. Weeps are located at the bottom of the object to allow for drainage; the weep hole must be sized adequately to overcome surface tension.
Weeps may also be necessary in a retaining wall, so water can escape from the retained earth, thus lessening thehydrostatic load on the wall and preventing moisture damage from freeze/thaw cycles. In such cases the weeps consist of small-diameter plastic, clay or metal pipes extending through the wall to a layer of porous backfill.
Typically, weeps are arranged to direct water which may have entered an assembly from outside back to the outside. Weeps may also be found in metal windows and glazed curtain walls to permit interstitial condensation to escape.
Weep holes are crucial to your home being able to "breathe", and helping your exterior avoid retaining moisture.
What does this mean to you? Your brick facade exterior on the home you are buying or may already home should have weep holes. There are specific standards that these weep holes should meet, and meeting these requirements is vital to the long term strutural stability of your home.
There could even be some unexpected results from improperly installed weep holes:
The video above shows a product that is unnecessary if the weep holes are properly installed by your builder.
How can you find out if your home has been properly constructed?
-----------NEWS from CPSC-----------
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Communications
4330 East West Highway, Bethesda, MD 20814
1. GE Recalls Air Conditioning and Heating Units Due to Risk of Fire
************************************************** ************************************************** *****************
Recall Date: November 3, 2015
Recall Number: 16-025
GE Recalls Air Conditioning and Heating Units Due to Risk of Fire
Name of Product: GE Zoneline® Air Conditioners and Heating Units
Hazard: Moisture from outdoor air can accumulate near the unit’s heater when the unit is operated with the vent door continuously open. This, along with two shorted electrical components, can create an electrical ground path and arcing, posing a risk of fire.
Consumers should contact GE to schedule a free repair. Do not operate the PTAC unit with the external vent open while awaiting a free repair. Property maintenance personnel should remove the unit’s front panel and locate the vent door control lever at the left side of the Zoneline unit to ensure the lever is in the closed position.
Consumer Contact: GE toll free at 866-723-2697 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, online atwww.geappliances.com/products/recall or www.geappliances.com and click the Recall Information tab for more information.
Photos available at http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2016/GE-Recalls-GE-Air-Conditioning-and-Heating-Units/
Units: About 33,500
Description: This recall involves GE Zoneline Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) and heating units with listed serial numbers. These units are most often used in hotels, apartment buildings and commercial spaces. The GE logo is affixed to the control panel door. Units with the following models and serial numbers are included in this recall:
BrandModel PrefixSerial Number (Begins with)
AZ61H15EAT, AV, AZ, DT, DV, DZ, FT, FV, FZ, GS, GT, GV, GZ, HT, HV, HZ, LT, LV, LZ, MT, MV, MZ, RT, RV, RZ, ST, SV, SZ, TT, TV, TZ, VS, VT, VV, VZ, ZS, ZT, ZV, ZZ
The model and serial numbers are printed on the rating plate that can be seen after removing the front panel.
Incidents/Injuries: GE has received three reports involving smoke and/or fire associated with
the unit’s heater resulting in about $30,000 of property damage. No injuries have been reported.
Sold by: GE authorized representatives and HVAC distributors nationwide from January 2010 through December 2013 for between $1,000 and $1,200.
Importer: GE Appliances, of Louisville, KY
Manufactured in: China