February 15, 2008 (Palm Springs, Calif.) — Home and property inspectors continue to warn homeowners, buyers, and real estate professionals against defects that exist with the installation of 15 to 20 million ranges in the United States. The lack of an anti-tip bracket or other means of anchoring the unit in place leaves an unstable range that can tip over and crush, scald or burn whoever is standing in front of it. The manufacturing of lighter weight ranges since the early 1980’s has resulted in a topple hazard that has lead to more than 100 reported cases of death and injury, mostly among children and elderly.
Although manufacturers, the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and the government have been aware of the problem for over twenty years, voluntary standards were only developed and applied to ranges installed after 1991. Those standards require electric and gas ranges to remain stable when 250 pounds of pressure is applied on the oven door for five minutes. The standards also require appliance sellers to install anti-tip brackets that manufacturers agreed to supply, but the retailers rarely install the brackets. While the retailers are aware of the safety hazard, their delivery people and installers are often not trained or equipped to perform the installation properly, and the sales people rarely mention the issue to the buyer. As a result, most homeowners don’t know that the range is not secure, and are unaware that the bracket is necessary for stability.
In performing a general home inspection, the inspector can and often does check for the presence of the anti-tip bracket or other anchoring method, along with verifying the overall condition and function of the cooking range. These inspectors would note the absence of the bracket and generally recommend correction of this important safety concern.
Homebuyers and sellers are urged to retain the services of qualified inspectors trained and experienced in home inspection. It is also very important that the inspector be a member of a well-founded professional association such as CREIA. Established in 1976, CREIA is the largest and oldest state inspection association in the country. CREIA inspectors must adhere to CREIA's Code of Ethics and follow the Standards of Practice developed and maintained by the Association. Recognized by the State of California, these Standards of Practice are considered the source for Home Inspector Standard of Care by the real estate and legal communities.
CREIA is dedicated to consumer protection and education. To locate a qualified CREIA inspector near you click here or call CREIA at (800) 388-8443.
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