Internachi certified professional inspector
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Internachi certified professional inspector
Along with how meticulous I am in doing home inspections, I do my best to be attentive when it comes to my own home's maintenance. If a fellow inspector were to check us out, I imagine they would have a very easy job! Like any homeowner, however, there are areas of improvement in my home I have been putting off and one such example is seen below. I take comfort in knowing that I am not alone in my procrastination and as of the end of 2021, 100% of the homes I have inspected have this exact same issue.
The obvious guess is that it is something to do with the electrical cord, especially since my blog has more articles about electrical than any other subject and…. you know…. it is the only thing visible in the photo. Nope, the electrical is perfectly fine and while it looks frayed towards the plug, this is just a camera trick. It’s not the lack of baseboards either, which is generally not a great idea to use behind a stove. The problem is what is missing: there are no anti-tip brackets.
What is an Anti-Tip Bracket?
Even though all stove manufacturers in North America are required to include these brackets, they are usually thrown away, added to the junk drawer or left attached in a bag located in the back of the stove. It is simply a set of small, L shaped clips that are installed on the wall and tucked under the stove’s back feet.
This will not only protect against toddlers tipping the entire stove over (which luckily is still extremely difficult to do even without the brackets), but against the stove being shaken and causing the contents on top to potentially come crashing down.
Not Just For Kids
Obviously being a Dad I can't help but focus on young children but adults can sometimes instinctively grab the oven door handle when falling. Even taking a heavy pan out of the oven can lead to a hot pot coming crashing down by accidently hitting the oven door when it is open.
While a stove tipping over is obviously not something that happens very often, I always advocate taking all reasonable steps to maximize safety in the home. As these brackets are included with every stove (and can be purchased at any hardware store) there is no reason for not installing them. Now if you will excuse me, I have a job to take care of.
There are few things that I consider more important than providing outstanding home inspections: operating my business in a safe, legal, and ethical manner is one of them. I am extensively trained and experienced in working from heights thanks to my career in building operations and know how dangerous and difficult working at elevations can be.
While there are some variables and subjectivity involved, such as snow or rain, there is no need to be subjective about what is considered a safe roof height to traverse: Nova Scotia’s laws prescribe the regulations involved in working from heights without a proper fall arrest system. In case you are wondering, yes, they apply to homeowners as well. Workplace Health and Safety Regulations - Occupational Health and Safety Act (Nova Scotia)
You are welcome to try and read the entire set of regulations without falling asleep but all you need to know is that you can only work up to 10' (3m) from a safe surface without having a fall arrest system. While such residential fall arrest systems do exist, they are expensive and used almost exclusively by roofing companies.
So, how do we inspect the roof if it cannot be traversed safely or legally? There are a number of alternatives. The easiest such way is to inspect from the eaves while remaining on the ladder. Often times I can easily inspect from the ladder as I have developed a sixth sense if the roof has an issue and know what to look for. This is my preferred method but is not always feasible, especially on very tall houses. The next alternative, while not my favourite, is to use a pair of binoculars to check the condition of the roof from the ground.
I did one inspection where there was no way to either reach the roof or see it from the ground. To accomplish this inspection, I got as high as I could and used a pole to attach my camera. The picture I took clearly shows the roof was well past its life expectancy and needed immediate attention. There are also some roofs that cannot be safely stepped on no matter how close they are to the ground. Two such examples are roofs with a metal covering and steep roofs of any kind.
I also inspect roofs from the underside by entering the attic space. This is the only way to determine if there are any active roof leaks or evidence of any past leaks: there are a number of indications such as an anomaly on my thermal imager, compressed insulation, organic growth and of course visibly dripping water.
This blog makes it clear how passionate I am about sharing my knowledge of home inspections and how much I go the extra mile for my clients but never at the expense of anyone’s safety. If I ever get the temptation to skirt the law or do something I know is unsafe I just remind myself of the person who has to tell my toddler that his Daddy considered getting a slightly better view of a roof as more important than coming home safely at the end of the day.