New homes and an over looked safety feature. Desert Sun Inspections.

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Home Inspector with Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections 10072923

New homes and an over looked safety feature. Desert Sun Inspections Carlsbad, New Mexico.

     There are supposed to be safety features in place within the codes when a new home is built.

These safety features such as smoke detectors clearances for appliances and fire place safety features just to mention a few.

But there seems to be a trend of the local building officials over looking a safety feature that is in the codes for the garage area.

The drop down ladder.

I inspect a lot of homes that have the drop down ladder installed in the garage.  That is a good thing. But when the ladder assembly doe's not meet the IRC code requirements for fire safety then there is an issue.

The ladder cover when closed must meet the safety requirements within the IRC codes which means the cover for the ladder must have a Two hour fire rated cover or protection.

Take a look at this drop down ladder that has only the 1/8th inch plywood attached as the cover.

Drop down ladder with wood cover.

This has a fire rating of only 20 Minutes. Far from the Two hours as dictated by the fire codes.

This looks like a very good installation. But in reality it doe's not meet code for the fire ratings.

The sellers always say the home passed inspection. But I say the home needs to be properly inspected first then pass it if it meets all codes. Not just the ones the local building inspectors want to enforce.

Posted by

 

Clint  McKie

Owner of Desert Sun Home Inspections Carlsbad, New Mexico. Eddy County's only certified home inspection service WITH OVER 30 YEARS EXPERIENCE. Serving all of South East New Mexico. We inspect the homes entire structure from the roof to the foundation, and everything in between. Most reports within 4-24 hours from time of inspection completion. We issue a PDF report with pictures Starting at $250.00 for each home inspection. Why settle for less when you can have the best?

Also included is a Appliance recallcheck and a 90 day warranty with all full home inspections.

When it comes to Quality home inspections. Simply put, we are the best.

1-575-706-5586   www.carlsbad-home-inspector.com Call me for the latest specials.

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Ambassador
3,267,365
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Clint- it may look safe and nicely done but certainly not safe!  It pays to invest in your own home inspection!

Dec 18, 2013 11:55 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,173,867
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 AdrianWillanger-broker.com - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Clint-I think an inspection really needs to identify safety related issues. Good job.

 

Adrian

Dec 19, 2013 12:17 AM #8
Rainmaker
478,507
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC - Wenatchee, WA
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Clint, I think some of this is maybe incorrect unless you have other rules in play. These pull down ladders, as shown, are not rated. You can look up rated ladders and they are quite expensive (aroung $500 to 1K and up). There are other ways to get the rating needed.

Also the assembly needs to be a 1 hour-tested in accordance with ASTM E 119 or UL 263.A 1/2 hr is OK if building is protectedby an automatic sprinkler system.

Here is one that is 30 minute rated-

http://www.industrialladder.com/productDetails.do?productID=9638&gclid=CKGvla_tvLsCFYN_QgodMQIAig

Dec 19, 2013 02:05 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,407,270
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

It would have never occured to me to check.  That reminds me I'm headed to the garage. 

Dec 19, 2013 06:24 PM #10
Ambassador
2,731,196
TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc.
Complete Home Inspections, Inc. - Brentwood, TN
Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029

 Good morning, Clint. For some strange reason, the municipal inspectors allow these flimsy pulldown ladders to be installed without any fire protection. Go figure!

Dec 19, 2013 06:44 PM #11
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi John,

Yes they are. too many buyer want to buy a home and save on the home inspection fee's.

Enjpy the day in the Duke City my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:15 PM #12
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Kristine,

Good to see you back as well.

The codes are different in all states and municipalities. You would need to check with the local fire marshals office to dsee what your area requires for fire safety.

Have a great Happy Holidays in New Jersey.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:17 PM #13
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Joan,

Just might want to check and see what the local boards require in your area. All can be a little different.

Have a very good Christmas in Denver.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:19 PM #14
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Fred,

It's the costs involved. I was in a city meeting where the board approved the installation of the fire rated ladders. The builders were against it because of the costs.

Have a nice Holiday Season in Land O Lakes my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:21 PM #15
Rainer
1,756,848
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Hi Clint.  Getting a CO seems to be a joke in your area.

Dec 19, 2013 08:23 PM #16
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Anita,

They are not even inspected IMHO. There are usually a lot of issues with these drop down ladders.

Have a very good Holiday season in Warner Robins.

Best. Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:24 PM #17
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Charles,

This could be true. There is never a list of what the home has when inspected by the JHA's.

After they leave who knows what happens. The ladder in the picture is in an attached garage with no firewall separation from the rest of the home.

Have a good Holiday season in the Seattle area my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:26 PM #18
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Kathy,

Although all jurisdictions have different requirements. It's good practice to be prepared for a fire.

Have a nice Christmas in Delray Beach.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:41 PM #19
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Adrian,

I focus on safety when inspecting. It the number one thing I do.

Have a nice day and a great Christmas in Seattle.

 

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:43 PM #20
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Donald,

Thanks for the link. The rating was found to be a twenty minute rating by the thickness of the ladder covering. Nothing more. No sprinkler system in the garage at all. The attached garage according to local fire codes needs a Two hour fire rating for any exposed areas of the attached garage. Including but not limited to the attic access. Only exception would be if the garage area doe's have a sprinkler system.

On this home every thing was correct but the attic access. Thanks for the advice.

Have a good day and have a great Holiday season in the Great Northwest my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:48 PM #21
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi James,

Don't just rush out and change your ladder out just yet. There are some retro fit doors and covers for the ladders.

Have a good day and an even better Christmas in Rogers.

 

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:50 PM #22
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Michael,

Because it's easier to say the home passed than to come back after creating a scene with the builder. IMHO.

Have a fine Holiday season in Brentwood.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:52 PM #23
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Conrad,

There are a lot of items that get overlooked when or before issuing a C of O for the home.

Have avery good Christmas in Webster my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 08:54 PM #24
Rainmaker
1,731,917
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

I would guess that this violation is missed by many inspectors Clint.

Dec 19, 2013 10:20 PM #25
Rainmaker
694,247
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections - Carlsbad, NM
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586

Hi Tom,

Most of these are missed or simply overloked by the local ispecotrs.

Have a great Christmas in Placerville.

Best, Clint McKie

Dec 19, 2013 10:30 PM #26
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