Why You Need A Plumbing & Home Safety Inspection

Did you know that the U.S. Government agencies concerned with protecting public safety urge regular maintenance and vital safety inspections for household items?

Causes of Residential Structure Fire:
Cooking has been the leading cause of residential fires (40%)…triple that of the next leading cause, heating (13%). Cooking and electrical malfunction are the first and second in fires with a dollar loss.
Residential Structure and Building Fires, October, 2008
U.S. Fire Administration FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Heating Fires:
Between 2002 and 2004, an annual average of 49,100 heating fires occurred in residential buildings and were responsible for an estimated 125 civilian fire deaths, 575 injuries, and $232 million in property loss. The loss per fire was $5,027, with 10.6 injuries and 2 fatalities per 1,000 fires. Many such fires can be prevented through proper maintenance and proper use of heating equipment. Both furnaces and chimneys should be professionally inspected annually and cleaned as necessary.
Topical Fire Research Series Volume 6, Issue 3 Nov. 2006: Heating Fires in Residential Buildings,
U.S. Fire Administration  FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Safety Inspections for heating systems have always been available in the VHP Club.
Air Conditioner Fires:
Each year in the United States, an average of 2,300 air conditioning fires occur in residential structures. These fires are responsible for approximately 60 civilian injuries, less than 5 civilian deaths, and $23.8 million in property loss. Eighty-six percent of residential air conditioning fires are ignited as a result of some type of mechanical failure or malfunction.
The leading factors contributing to these mechanical failures and malfunctions is a short circuit (51%) or other electrical failure (22%) in the air conditioning unit. In many cases, air conditioner units run at full capacity during the hottest summer months and are not always routinely inspected or maintained, often causing the mechanical failures or malfunctions that result in fire. Product maintenance, routine inspection, and the installation of smoke alarms can aid in the prevention or reduction of air conditioning fires. 
Topical Fire Research Series Volume 2, Issue 5 July 2001 Residential Air Conditioner Fires,
U.S. Fire Administration FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Safety Inspections for cooling systems have always been available in the VHP Club.
Clothes Dryer Fires:
From 2002 to 2004, the yearly national fire loss for clothes dryer fires in structures is estimated at $99 million. Annually, 12,700 clothes dryer fires occur in residential buildings resulting in 15 deaths and 300 injuries.
Lint is created from the clothes as the water is removed and the clothes dry. While much of the lint is trapped by the dryer’s filter, lint also is carried through the venting system, together with moist air. The accumulation of lint, both in the dryer and in the dryer vent, reduces the airflow and creates a highly flammable fuel source.
Blockages in dryer exhaust vents also can occur from the nests of small birds and animals or from bends in the venting system itself. “Failure to clean” is the number one factor contributing to clothes dryer fires, followed by mechanical and electrical failure.
Topical Fire Research Series Volume 7, Issue 1 Jan. 2007 Clothes Dryer Fires in Residential Buildings
U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security
Having your clothes dryer vent cleaned is now available in the VHP Club!
Electrical Fires & Hazards:
Based on the latest available data for 2003 to 2005, an estimated 28,300 residential building electrical fires occur annually and cause 360 deaths, 1,000 injuries, and losses of $995 million. Nearly half (47%) of the residential building electrical fires where equipment was involved were caused by the building’s wiring.
Topical Fire Research Series Volume 8, Issue 2 March 2008 Residential Building Electrical Fires,
U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security 
 "Many of these electrical-related incidents are preventable," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "If every household installed ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs), deaths from electrocution in and around the home could be reduced by one-half. I urge consumers to look around their homes and correct electrical hazards."
NEWS from CPSC Release # 00-112 May 25, 2000
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Information and Public Affairs
Checking for proper grounding and inspecting household wiring for safety is now available in the VHP Club!
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from Home Appliances:
Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room and more than 4,000 are hospitalized due to CO poisoning. Fatality is highest among Americans 65 and older. Recommended Strategies to prevent CO poisoning from your home appliances include having your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year and installing a battery-operated CO detector in your home.
Source: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Fact Sheet, April 27, 2009
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
After a recent rash of carbon monoxide poisonings the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is repeating its recommendation that every home should have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm. CPSC also urges consumers to have a professional inspection of all fuel- burning appliances - including furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, clothes dryers, water heaters, and space heaters - to detect deadly carbon monoxide leaks.
“Consumers should not service their own appliances, but have a qualified plumber, heating contractor or gas company technician perform an inspection every year.” - CPSC Chair Ann Brown.
NEWS from CPSC Releases: #01-069 Jan. 18, 2001 and #97-191 Sept. 22, 1997
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Office of Information and Public Affairs
Checking your water heater, gas range, gas log, etc. for Carbon Monoxide is now available in the VHP Club!
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