A Fire Tragedy Waiting to Happen


At a recent Home Inspection in Seattle, I found numerous problems that could result in a fire tragedy.

This 3,000 s.f. home had been remodeled int a 9 room mufti-family rooming house for students.

Aside from the fire hazards created by messy students (stuff and garbage everywhere), I found the following additional fire hazards

– Knob and tube wiring buried in insulation

– Improper electrical wire splices

– Broken electrical outlets with live components exposed

– Arcing electrical outlets

– Ungrounded (3) prong outlets

– Extension cord wiring for outlets

– Exposed outdoor wiring to the storage building

– Locked electrical panel

– Exposed light bulbs in closets

– Missing fire extinguisher in the Kitchen

The building has a very high occupant count. Rooms are carved from other larger rooms and emergency egress is questionable.

Washington State Standards of Practice do not require the testing of smoke detectors. As a standard practice, I test all accessible smoke detectors.

At this property, I tested every one of the 14 smoke detectors.

14 out of 14 smoke detectors in the house are inoperative !

The property manager was with me at this inspection. I would expect the he will at least take care of the smoke detector problem.

I also sent a link to this posting to the Seattle Fire Marshall.