March, 2009
News in Brief
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Download Safety tips from to share with clients


The National Fire Protection Association reports dryers and washing machines were involved in one out of every 21 home structure fires reported to U.S. fire departments in 2002-2005.

Facts and figures

In 2005, an estimated 14,500 reported U.S. non-confined home structure fires involving clothes dryers or washing machines resulted in 14 civilian deaths, 440 civilian injuries and $207 million in direct property damage.

Clothes dryers accounted for 92 percent of the fires; washing machines 5 percent, and washer and dryer
combinations accounted for 3 percent.

The leading cause of home clothes dryer and washer fires was failure to clean (29 percent), followed by unclassified mechanical failure or malfunction (23 percent). Thirteen percent were caused by some type of electrical failure or short circuit.

Visitors to are invited to download a printable fact sheet on clothes dryers and washing machine fires and another that provides tips on clothes dryer and washing machine safety.

To find the fact sheet and tips, visit, click on Research and Reports, Fact Sheets, Appliance.

NORA training library free for viewing and download

The National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA) has posted all 15 of its CD/DVD training titles for free access at Users who log on to the site have the option of viewing a selected video online or downloading it to watch later. The following titles are accessible via a scroll-down bar, and indicate the viewing time and size of the file:
  • Action Response to a No-Heat Call
  • Preventive Maintenance Tune-up
  • Fuel Delivery Video
  • Heating Oil & Our Environment Video
  • Primary Controls
  • Cad Cell Relays
  • Microprocessor Primary Controls
  • Steel Above-Ground Tank Installation
  • Polyethylene/Steel Above Ground Tank Installation
  • Tank Inspection Procedures
  • Residential Underground Storage Static Tank Process
  • Above-Ground Fiberglass-Reinforced Plastic (FRP) Tanks
  • Combustion Efficiency Testing
  • Fuel Savings Analysis calculator
  • Supporting Your Customers in the Face of Rising Oil Price
They download in the standard .wmv format and can be transferred to DVDs or other computers.

New Healthy Homes Specialist Credential announced

To protect their families, parents and caregivers increasingly are seeking advice and help in identifying and addressing hazards in and around the home.
Until now, there has not been a trained workforce dedicated to addressing healthy-homes issues. To fill the training and education gap, the National Center for Healthy Housing and the National Environmental Health Association created the Healthy Homes Specialist Credential. The first and only  credential of its kind, the Healthy Homes Specialist Credential signifies that an individual has achieved a high level of education and that his/her proficiency and accuracy in healthy homes have been validated.

To achieve the credential, individuals must complete a comprehensive exam on the seven principles of healthy housing, which include keeping homes dry, clean, pest-free, contaminant-free, ventilated, safe and maintained. Individuals seeking the Healthy Homes Specialist credential must:
  1. Be at least 21 years of age;
  2. Have five years of experience in housing, environmental health or public health;
  3. Achieve a minimum score of 70 percent on the qualifying examination; and
  4. Successfully complete an on-line home assessment exercise.
Private-sector professionals who may be interested in the Healthy Homes Specialist credential may include:
  • Lead risk assessors, radon
  • measurement professionals and
  • mold professionals
  • Real estate agents
  • Pest management professionals
  • Certified home inspectors

 To learn more about the Healthy Homes Specialist Credential, please visit: or

Free Videos from JLCTV: print publication discount

In three segments, free stair building videos cover the differences between manufactured and job-site built stairs, their codes and tips for taking and calculating measurements, layout and cutting stringers and finishing the project.

This is one of 21 videos available on the Web site

If you prefer print, ASHI members receive a discount when they subscribe to the Journal of Light Construction for $25.95 a year — which is 35 percent less than the non-member rate. Each issue is packed with articles on the newest construction techniques, business management tools, and innovative building products, all delivered in a no-nonsense style with plenty of illustrations.

Call 1-800-375-5981 and reference key code J3DASHI to subscribe or download a faxable subscription form from the ASHI Members Only Web site under Partners.

Do you know what NAR knows?

Nearly one-quarter of first-time buyers are single females who purchased their first home on a median income of $47,400.

Source: 2008 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Few organizations take the pulse of the real estate market as closely as the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Others who depend on the real estate market for their livelihood may find the NAR Web site useful in staying current on trends. While the 2008 NAR Profile must be purchased, other information is available for free.

On or about the 25th of each month, NAR releases statistics on sales and prices of existing single-family homes for the nation and the four regions. It also produces state-by-state existing-home sales and metro area home prices on a quarterly basis. A pending home sales index is published the first of each month.