November, 2006
ASHI Community
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

Firefighting Academy Workshop


A real barn burner

Thanks to the persistent work of Paul Rogoshewski, a member of the ASHI New England Chapter’s Education Committee, the chapter hosted a workshop at the Mass. Firefighters Academy in Stow on September 14.
Paul Vincequere, industrial coordinator, spoke about potential fire hazards to be aware of in and around a home, and about many everyday things that pose a risk of fire or death, including the following.

Photo: ASHI Members Bob Mulloy (left), and Paul Rogoshewski (right) flank workshop leader Paul Vincequere.

Attendees were told that simple suntan lotion should not be stored in a pool shed as it could fall into stored chlorine and cause a serious chemical reaction. Inspection reports should recommend that four-inch house numbers be posted next to the front door and that they must be visible from the street so that emergency services can quickly find the house. Clients should be advised to purchase a shed for the storage of their lawnmower, gasoline and other hazardous household products. An ABC fire extinguisher should be located by the door and not by the stove, so that the occupant is moving away from the fire instead of toward it.

Photo: NE-ASHI chapter members watched firefighters in training rappel down the outside face of a six-story building at the Mass. Firefighters Academy.

Photo: NE-ASHI chapter members stand outside the “burn building” at the Mass. Firefighters Academy. They were allowed to walk through the maze of dark rooms after firefighters-in-training had struck the fire in the burn building. Residual heat and smoke permeated their noses and their clothes. They may look good in the photo, but according to Bob Mulloy, “Boy, did we stink.”

Workshop attendees were reminded to look for the potential for personal injury or property damage during an inspection, and to report, in writing, safety concerns.
After the classroom session, attendees toured the academy’s outside training facilities, where prospective firefighters were actively involved in realistic fire/rescue scenarios with full gear, hoses, fire trucks, ladder trucks, and SMOKE and FIRE.


Photo: The “burn building” on fire.

2006 ASHI-NE Annual Conference in Newport

Bob Mulloy, chapter education committee chair, reports that on September 21-22, the ASHI New England Chapter (ASHI-NE), together with the Newport Restoration Foundation (NRF), held a two-day conference in Newport, R.I.

NRF directed an educational tour each morning; the chapter provided continuing education speakers for the afternoon sessions. On the first day, Robert Foley, NRF preservation coordinator, gave a presentation about the history of Newport, and the unique and varied architecture of its 18th and 19th century homes. After the presentation, NRF staff led groups of home inspectors and their spouses on a “Downtown Newport Historic Detective Tour.” Participants walked along multiple narrow cobblestone streets, while the NRF staff members pointed out extremely wavy walls, sagging roof lines, hand-split clapboards, cut nails and window and door components seldom seen today. Four vacant 18th-century homes in various stages of preservation were open for inspection from basement to attic, exposing the craftsmanship of a by-gone era and creating an appreciation for the scope of preservation techniques.

In the afternoon, ASHI Member Peter Drenan entertained the audience with a “Historic House Blunders” presentation. He challenged attendees to step back and view the “big picture” by recognizing telltale signs of expansion, alteration and change of use. He explained that some building ideas pose a risk of personal injury or property damage that a home inspector should report.
On day two, Pieter Roos, NRF executive director, spoke about Doris Duke, her legacy and her generous donation of the 40,000-sq.-ft. Rough Point mansion to the NRF. He explained the NRF must study every mundane repair in exhaustive detail to determine the best method of preservation and the interaction of the repair on other components of the home. The mansion is undergoing replacement of failing steel lintels above the windows, a task that required extensive study, as the lintels must be replaced from the outside so as not to damage the silk wallpaper and furnishings inside the mansion.
The group traveled to Rough Point and walked the grounds, marveling at the breathtaking views of the mansion, the grounds and the breakers crashing against the rocky shoreline. A special tour of the mansion included the basement and the attic.

Photo: Willed by Doris Duke to be used as a museum, Rough Point’s preservation presents unique challenges. The oceanfront mansion is built of granite and sandstone, has bronze windows and a slate roof. Situated on a rolling, grassy point of oceanfront land, it is subjected to continual weather extremes of sunlight and wind driven rain.

ASHI Member Bill Kibbel closed the seminar with a presentation on historical architectural house styles, their mechanical systems and unique features, and provided clues to determine the date of the original structure, as well as later additions and alterations. As a home inspector, he was able to point out typical problems associated with each of the house styles.

Promote the ASHI Chapter Enterprise Award

This monetary award is designed to encourage chapter members to attend InspectionWorld together. It was created by an ASHI Member who attributes much of his success to what he’s gotten from belonging to his chapter and attending the annual conferences.

Promote the challenge to your chapter at your next meeting or in your newsletter. To win, be the chapter with the greatest number of members or the highest percentage of members attendingDownload a PDF of the guidelines here. Questions? Contact Bob Kociolek at HQ,

Northern Illinois Chapter Reaches Out to Realtors®

Tim Connors, NIC-ASHI public relations chair, reports that 15 ASHI Members/ Candidates worked in the chapter booth at the Illinois Association of Realtors® Fall Convention, held at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosemont, Ill. More than 1,400 Realtors attended the three-day convention, September 6-8, 2006. Magnets imprinted with the chapter and national Web sites were handed out, and a follow-up postcard was sent to attendees, thanking them for stopping by the booth. The following NIC-ASHI members staffed the booth.

Barry Kreiter
Greg Hines
Ron Krywanio
John Scavone
Mike Peters
Gary Monferdi
DeWayne Silberhorn
Bob Schacke
Jim Starkman
John Goetz
Jeff Beck
James McKibben
Valentin Dominguez
Tim Connors
Jory Lannes

Ohio & North Central Ohio Chapters Exhibit at Realtor Show

Shawn Sebring, North Central Ohio ASHI president, reports, “In much of Ohio there has been a push to establish ASHI as the minimum standard for a home inspector, going on for more than 10 years in some areas. More specifically, in the Greater Cleveland area, ASHI members have made a real push, primarily among the real estate community, to place the ASHI inspector as the only inspectors on any list of inspectors.

“Recently the Ohio ASHI and North Central Ohio ASHI chapters each had a booth at the Ohio Association of Realtors® Convention, held in Cleveland, Ohio, at the end of September. I was pleased to find four of the six vendors representing the home inspection industry also were promoting ASHI.

Photo: Rod Whittington and Tom Gaba man the North Central Ohio booth at the Ohio Association of Realtors Convention.

Photo: The Ohio Chapter booth at the show.

“There were booths from the North Central Ohio ASHI chapter, the Ohio Chapter of ASHI, a local inspection company with the ASHI logo prominently displayed, and a marketing group of inspectors that requires ASHI membership.

“This strong showing of ASHI at the convention demonstrates how the years of hard work and constant promotion have paid and are paying off for those of us who are currently ASHI members.”