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Safety

Does it matter how high the chimney is?

The length of a horizontal line drawn from the top of the opening of the chimney flue to the point at which that line touches the roof surface should be ten feet or more. This height requirement is to assure that the chimney will develop adequate draft.  A "too short" chimney won't have a tall-enough column of rising hot gases inside to develop a safe, adequate draft.



A chimney that istoo shortis unlikely to vent properly and it may also be a serious fire hazard to the building.

How safe is aluminum wiring?

Aluminum wiring, used in some homes from the mid 1960's to the early 1970's, is a potential fire hazard.

According to theU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fires and even deaths have been reported to have been caused by this hazard. Problems due to aluminum wiring expansion, or arcing at the aluminum wiring connectors, can cause overheating at connections between the wire and devices (switches and outlets) or at aluminum wire splices. The connections can become hot enough to start a fire without ever tripping a circuit breaker!

Where does your house rank for RADON levels?

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Radon: Eddie's Story
Radon levels need to be measured in your home. Radon is the 2nd leading source of lung cancer in the US.
The EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have rated every county in the United States as Zone 1 to 3 for radon risk. Links to state maps with county by- county risk levels can be found at

Whats that outlet with buttons? I know you've seen them.

A "GFCI" is a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter.
Ground Fault Circuit InterupterThis is picture of an outlet version. Some other versions are breakers in the electric panel, separate plug-type, or stand alone. A ground fault circuit interrupter is an inexpensive electrical device that, if installed in household branch circuits, could prevent over two-thirds of the approximately300 electrocutionsstill occurring each year in and around the home. Installation of the device could also prevent thousands of burn and electric shock injuries each year.

When was lead-based paint banned in the US?

The United States government'sConsumer Product Safety Commissionbanned lead paintin1977. In an announcement dated September 2, 1977, "The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has culminated a major regulatory proceeding by issuing a final ban on lead-containing paint and on toys and furniture coated with such paint. This action was taken to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children who may ingest paint chips or peelings."

FACT:Lead exposure can harm young children and babies even before they are born.
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