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November Newsletter

 All-Star Home Inspector Newsletter
Issue #35       November 2010
Proper Placement of Your CO detector

If you have any fossil fuel burning heaters or appliances, fireplace, or attached garage, you must have a Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector/alarm by most local & state codes.  So let's talk about the proper placement and installation of your CO detectors.

CO detectors can be purchased from most home improvement stores. Some are battery powered and some are electric with battery backup. You may have a choice of stand alone CO detectors or combination smoke/CO detector. When choosing a combination unit, the alarms must be distinguishable. As dictated by the fire code, you may only "need" a minimum number of detectors in your home. But in this case, a little redundancy can be a great thing.  Think more, not less.

Installation locations will vary by manufacturer due to the degree of research conducted on that specific type and style of detector. Read and clearly understand the instructions specific to your unit. They are not all the same.

These are some general guidelines common to most manufacturers:

·         Alarms should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement, and near or over any attached garage.

·         They should be located within 10-15 feet outside of each separate sleeping area.

·         Detectors can be placed on the wall or the ceiling as specified in the installation instructions.

·         Do not install detectors within 15-20 feet of any furnace or fuel burning heat source.

·         Detectors should not be placed in or near humid areas, such as bathrooms.

·         Place alarms in areas where they will not be damaged by children or pets.

·         Do not install alarms in direct sunlight or areas subjected to temperature extremes

·         They should not be installed behind curtains or other obstructions.

·         Alarms may not function as designed if installed near ceiling fans, heat vents, air conditioners, fresh air returns, or open windows.

·         Life expectancy for detectors will be specific to each manufacturer's recommendations. Carbon monoxide detectors actually have an expiration date, so check with the manufacturer instructions to determine how long the carbon monoxide detector is supposed to last and maintain your specific unit accordingly.


November's Tip of the Month


Air filters

Time to change your Air Filters
If you have a tip you would like to share please let us know at:
Chimney & Fireplace Safety

In order to keep your family and home safe, it is important to always practice fireplace and chimney safety. Follow the three-foot rule. Combustible material too close to the fireplace, or to a wood stove, could easily catch fire so keep material at least 36" away from the hearth.


How often should I have my chimney cleaned?

The quick simple answer is: The National Fire Protection Association standard 211 says, "Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance and repairs shall be done if necessary."


The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that open masonry fireplaces should be cleaned at 1/8" of sooty buildup, and sooner if there is any glaze present in the system. Factory-built fireplaces should be cleaned when any appreciable buildup occurs.


Wood Stove Emissions
Approximately 10 million wood stoves are currently in use in the United States, and 70 percent to 80 percent of them are older, inefficient, conventional stoves that pollute. - Source:EPA


Today, there are wood stoves certified by the EPA to be cleaner-burning, as well as stoves that burn gas, pellets, oil, corn and coal. These same stoves are also sold as fireplace inserts, and can be added to a fireplace to reduce the amount of emissions.

A Surprising Fact
Water causes more damage to masonry chimneys than fire. Chimney caps, also called rain covers, are probably the most inexpensive preventive measure that a homeowner can employ to prevent water penetration and damage to the chimney. Chimneys have one or more large openings (flues) at the top that collect rain water and funnel it directly to the chimney interior. A strong, well designed cap not only keeps this water out, but will also prevent birds and animals from entering and nesting in the chimney.


Call TODAY to schedule an inspection:
Kirk 2
Kirk Dall
Mark Dean

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