April, 2006
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Don't Toss That Old Cell Phone


PhoneMan.gifThe national Call to Protect program allows you to retire your wireless phone in a manner that helps the environment and provides phones, with matching airtime, to domestic violence agencies. Proceeds from the sale of the phones helps to fund agencies that fight domesticviolence. Other phones are refurbished and become lifelines for domestic violence survivors when faced with an emergency situation. To donate your phone, contact your local domestic violence shelter, Call to Protect (www.calltoprotect.org) or The Wireless Foundation, a non-profit that oversees this and other philanthropic programs that use wireless technology to help American communities.

The Wireless Foundation
1400 16th Street, NW Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Fax: 202.467.5532
Thank you to ASHI Director Jay Z. Balin for providing this information.

Vent Pipe Manufacturer Pulls Out of Recall Program—Other Firms Continue to Honor Recall Agreement

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced that in early 2005, Falcon HC Holding Corp., of Stamford, Conn., withdrew from participation in the recall program to replace Ultravent-brand plastic vent pipes used to vent home heating systems. Because of Falcon’s withdrawal, consumers with Ultravent pipes now have to pay the portion the firm had agreed to pay, about 40 percent of the total replacement cost, which amounts to between $230 and $250 per system. All the other firms participating in the recall program continue to honor their obligations under the program. Falcon’s withdrawal does not affect consumers with Plexvent-brand vent pipe. Thus, consumers with Plexvent-brand plastic vent pipes continue to get a cost-free remedy when they replace their vent pipes. The original recall program was announced on February 24, 1998 with the participation of virtually the entire furnace and boiler industry together with the two manufacturers of high-temperature plastic vent (HTPV) pipes. Its purpose was to replace the estimated 250,000 HTPV pipe systems attached to gas or propane furnaces or boilers in consumers’ homes.

To read the entire release, visit CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov and look for Release # 06-022. All CPSC recalls are available at this site.

To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury, call CPSC’s hotline at 800-638-2772 or visit CPSC’s Web site at www.cpsc.gov/talk.html.

How important is a Web presence in the real estate transaction industry?

According to the February 21, Inman News, “HomeGain reports 112% jump in online visitors over last year.

“HomeGain recently reported gains in Web traffic in January as more consumers are flocking online to begin their home buying or selling process. The company, now owned by Classified Ventures, reported 6.87 million total online visits, with 5.2 million unique visitors in January, up 112 percent from the same month a year earlier.

“HomeGain matches home buyers and sellers with real estate professionals. According to the company’s estimates, it is the second most visited real estate site after Realtor.com, which is the most visited.“In addition to HomeGain, Classified Ventures owns Cars.com, Homescape.com and Apartments.com.”