Have you created a fire waiting to happen?
Didja miss me?
Rarely do I not get to post something each day, but to go three days without a post? Well, mark that on your calendar!
Most of the houses I inspect are in the range from 600-SF condos to 2,000-SF houses. They usually take 2-3 hours to inspect and another hour or so to compile a report. If there’s a good movie on, or I’m singing to The Beatles, compiling the report could take four or five hours……..lol
This past weekend was “Big House Weekend” for me. On Friday I inspected a 4,000-SF house, then a 2,200-SF house on Saturday, and then a 4,600-SF house in La Jolla with a 180-degree view of the ocean on Sunday. Too bad I don’t get to charge money to inspect views; just have to enjoy them while I do my job.
At Saturday’s inspection, which was a three-story hillside home in La Mesa, we were able to see the smoke from a fire a couple of miles away. Later I found out the location of the fire and that people and two dogs had to be rescued from the back yard as the house was burning; unfortunately, two inside cats lost their lives due to smoke inhalation. It took firefighters and engines from four cities to knock down the fire in 20 minutes, but there still was $300,000 in property damage and the loss of our two feline friends.
At the same time, a story hit the Internet about a fire in Orofino, Idaho, that took the lives of five people. We don’t yet know the cause of the fire in La Mesa, but the Orofino fire was blamed on an overloaded extension cord.
Invariably in my inspection reports, I always note that the seller is using outlet multipliers and extension cords as permanent wiring. Outlet multipliers are used to turn a two-receptacle outlet into a four- or six-receptacle outlet, like this:
Overuse of extension cords looks like this:
Using outlet multipliers and extension cords as permanent wiring is a major cause of fires in our homes. They encourage you to plug in more stuff for which you probably don’t have enough electricity on the circuit. In many cases, the extension cord itself is not heavy duty enough to handle the extra load, which is what happened at the house in Orofino, Idaho.
Just because something is sold at Home Depot or Walmart does not mean that it is safe to use in any way you choose. Both of the devices discussed here should only be used temporarily, and once you are finished with it, you should unplug it. While you are using it, though, feel the cord or the multiplier every five or ten minutes. If it is hot to the touch, turn everything off and unplug it before you have a fire.
Even though you might not want to pay an electrician to install additional outlets, circuits, and circuit breakers, it’s the safest thing to do. After all, would you rather pay your electrician $500 on a credit card or pay the various expenses related to moving into a hotel for several months while your burned-down house is rebuilt? I can tell you that the electrician is the less expensive and less inconvenient way to go.
Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572
If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!