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Inspector Misses a Recalled Product


hausdok
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Mike,

Is or was a discussion of that recall here?

Also Barry failed to mention that an inspectors contract might disclaim alerting the client to recalls. And I don;t think that it would be professional negligence it would be negligent misrepresentation. When did we achieve professional status?

The duty I would think would depend upon ones local area of practice even if the product was distributed and installed nation wide.

Where do the SOP's require an inspector to alert the client to a recall?

Reporting on recalls appears to be a personal business decision. If we are truly advocates for the safety of our clients then where does it stop?

I recently read something about I joists being a cancer threat on one of your threads on your JLC forum!

Chris, Oregon

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Chris,

Yes, of course. Using the word servicable implies to me that the inspector was just checking a box in his report writing software.

I was interested in comment on the broader discussion of out duty to alert our clients to product recalls.

It also occured to me that as a member of ASHI or some other Inspection Association you might be considered professional if that was what you were holding yourself out to be to the client. I mean our Oregon SOP doesn;t use the wording "in the professional judgement of the inspector"

The word "professional" has legal meaning. For the client to sue under professional negligence rather then negligent misrepresentation would imply to my thinking they were seeking punitive damges in addition to the replacement of the furnace.

Chris, Oregon

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Originally posted by Chris Bernhardt

Mike,

Is or was a discussion of that recall here?

No.

The post isn't about the recall, it's about an inspector's duty, or lack thereof, to know and report recalled products.

The Premier recall is old news. To learn more click here

Also Barry failed to mention that an inspectors contract might disclaim alerting the client to recalls. And I don;t think that it would be professional negligence it would be negligent misrepresentation. When did we achieve professional status?
We are professionals in a particular discipline. It's a pity that you don't consider yourself a professional person. Where would you like to be categorized - with dog walkers and carpet cleaners?

Where do the SOP's require an inspector to alert the client to a recall?
They don't. The SOP's are the bare minimum standard for this business. Professionals understand that.

Reporting on recalls appears to be a personal business decision. If we are truly advocates for the safety of our clients then where does it stop?
Well, since it's a personal business decision, that's going to depend on the individual.

I recently read something about I joists being a cancer threat on one of your threads on your JLC forum!
And if you'd read and understood my response, you would have seen where I think that's a lot of horse hockey.

First of all, formaldehyde dissipates within a few weeks, so there is no long-term threat to anyone. Cigarettes actually expose one to more formaldehyde than they'll ever be exposed to in a home.

The fellow who started that thread also feels that plywood has no business being used in construction and he goes off about stuff without doing a whole lot of research.

The adhesives used in OSB, as explained by the fellow from the OSB industry, are entirely different from those containing urea-formaldehyde used in other building materials, and they do not pose any sort of threat.

Sometimes you just have to consider the source.

OT - OF!!!

Mike

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We are professionals in a particular discipline. It's a pity that you don't consider yourself a professional person. Where would you like to be categorized - with dog walkers and carpet cleaners?

Of course I consider myself a professional. However professional negligence is a legal theory that I am not sure can normally be applied to a professional home inspector. Thats what I was trying to say not that as home inspectors we are not professional. There is a distinction between the two. Sometimes the legal sense of the word is not the common use of the word.

Thanks for the link. I recall now reading it before.

It also occured to me that as a member of ASHI or some other Inspection Association you might be considered professional if that was what you were holding yourself out to be to the client. I mean our Oregon SOP doesn;t use the wording "in the professional judgement of the inspector"

This is ill-worded and ill-considered and I apologize for that. It reads not the way I intended.

Chris, Oregon

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No Harm no foul. I'm just a little touchy about the use of the word "industry" versus "professional" and I'm always trying to reinforce in readers' minds that we are practicing a professional discipline and should consider ourselves, and always call ourselves, professionals, not tradesmen.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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This shows regionality also. I've never heard of Premier furnaces. Never read about the recall. I spend a lot of time reading & going online; nothing about Premier. Am I unprofessional?

The recall thing is a little touchy; it's almost impossible to stay on top of recalls. I disclaim recall stuff in my contract.

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Originally posted by hausdok

No Harm no foul. I'm just a little touchy about the use of the word "industry" versus "professional" and I'm always trying to reinforce in readers' minds that we are practicing a professional discipline and should consider ourselves, and always call ourselves, professionals, not tradesmen.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

One of the good things about being a "Licensed Professional" Home Inspector in NJ is that NJ requires an "Affidavit of Merit" in order to sue for professional negligence.

Check out this link for more info about this issue:

http://mdwcg.wld.com/cm/defensedigest/d ... est111.asp

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Where do you draw the line between a "widely known recall" and an obscure recall? Seems like if you are going to talk about recalls, you better know your s***.

Actually, what I mean is, if you decide NOT to disclaim recalls, you better check every product you inspect, from siding to dishwashers.

I think it is foolish not to disclaim recalls and if you disclaim it, you disclaim it, doesn't matter how "widely known" it is.

I use the phrase "I will report on recalled products that I am aware of".

IMO, Barry is right on most of the time but not always. Remember, his audience is the consumer, not the inspector.

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Hi All,

Terry, I've got some archived here on TIJ and there were some in the old TIJ archives but I'll have to ask Mike if I can still get to them. If not, I can always recreate that archive because I've got a 4 inch thick binder full of recalls dating back to 1997. I'd just have to sit down for a weekend and plug them back in.

Now, to address what homnspector just said, knowing about recalls is like visiting TIJ and remembering something that you read here. You either remember it and call it out with a lot of confidence or you suspect there's an issue, because you read about it here, and you tell the client that you'll need to check it out and get back to him/her.

Print out the recalls and compile them in a binder. Then, every once in a while you leaf through it to refresh your memory about stuff that's been recalled. Then when you encounter it on the job, or think you've encountered it, you can either:

a. go to your vehicle, pull out the binder and look it up to check it,

or,

b. jot down the info and tell the client that there might be a recall on the product, you'll check it when you get home, and, if it's recalled, you'll include that info in your report.

I've done it both ways, but I've found that the second part is easier and doesn't break my inspection flow, by causing me to go to the truck to pull out that 4 inch thick binder and spend time leafing through it. I do carry a few key recalls - dishwashers and stove/ovens inside my clipboard, but the rest are in that book.

That binder now sits in the throne room here at home and I leaf through it every once in a while when I don't have anything else to read in there.

Want to create your own book? Go to http://www.recalls.gov , click on "consumer products", then click on "product search" and work your way down the alphabetized list. When you get to a category that could be involved in an inspection, like "furnaces", highlight it and then click "find". Then one-by-one print off every recall on that page. You'll find recalls there going back to the 1980's and it will take you a solid two days of work to get them all. I know, 'cuz I've done it and I've got a pretty fast printer.

Works fine for me and I don't obsess about whether mentioning one recall means I have to know about every single recall and must look up every product to see if it's been recalled. Humans aren't computers. Most of us don't have total recall, so nobody's going to expect us to know every recall, any more than they'd expect every code official to remember every nuance of every code in every code book, or they'd expect every cop to know every single nuance of every single local ordinance, misdemeanor or felony and every single state and federal law. I know about this kind of stuff. I was a cop for a lot of years and have spent hundreds of hours on witness stands being grilled by attorneys on both sides of cases.

Nobody expects us to be automatons. Get that kind of stuff out of your head. It just doesn't work like that in the real world. That's just another home inspection myth. If you avoid providing good service to a client, based on an irrational and unfounded fear of being put on the spot and having to reveal that your not infallible, you're missing a good opportunity to be the best inspector you can be.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Wouldn't it be easier to record the appliance model # SN then do a search on CPSC rather than leaf through papers manually? I also subscribe to the latest CPSC recalls via an RSS feed (similar to newsgroups). This helps me to know what is recent and I can save pertinent recalls to my drive.

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Hi,

Yes, that's what I do.....now. However, I don't have a computer in my vehicle. I originally created the book so that I'd have something to take with me on-site and would have a ready reference available when/if I found something that I thought had been recalled. After a while, that became too cumbersome and time consuming, so I relegated the book to the throne room where I seem to do an awful lot of my reading these days (Time marches on.).

What would be ideal would be the ability to download those recalls into a word-searchable database kept on a PDA or a palm type computer. Then all one would need to do would be to pull up the database, put in the brand name of the product and pull up the recall. Heck, maybe it's doable now, but, not being a computer person, I wouldn't know how to make it happen.

OT - OF!!!

M.

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I think that is doable. Just subscribe to the RSS feed (if you use an email program like Thunderbird) then you can keep the data which you feel is important. This data is stored in your newsgroup folder and is searchable. In Thunderbird I can even export these feeds to html or text files for searching. I think there are add-ons for Outlook for RSS if that is what you use.

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Hi Scott,

Thanks. I'm not sure that I understood all that. In fact, I didn't, but I'm sure that Mike Brown will chide me about it on the phone later and try and make my non-computer-friendly brain comprehend it.

Maybe I'll get there one of these days. In the meantime, I just muddle along about 3-4 years behind the techno-curve.

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Hey Mike,

Well, if you have any questions or need assistance in setting something like that up I would be more than happy to help. What email client do you use?

Also RSS feeds can be fed to Mozilla and IE. If I remember you are an IE user. Just search for RSS in the help contents for IE.

In fact, TIJ has an RSS feed for News and Events.

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Originally posted by swolsen

In fact, TIJ has an RSS feed for News and Events.

Yep,

I remember how proud Mike B. was when he added that and tried to 'splain it to me. That was about 6 months ago. I still haven't figured the #*@!^> thing out.

Thanks for the offer. Might take you up on it one day if I can ever figure out how to RSS.

Email client? I dunno, whatever came with the computer. MSN I guess, because it's hotmail (or is it MSN Live now, I forget.) I try not to experiment too much, 'cuz when I do I invariably screw something up that can't be reversed easily.

The computer sitting over in the corner 9ft. to my right can attest to that. The damned thing got ticked at me one day and just stopped responding to my input. Had to buy another computer. Now it sits there smirking at me going, "Nah, nah! I got yer data! I got yer data! You can't get it! You can't get it!" [:-grumpy]

One of these days though. [:-spin]

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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Better yet, once you have punched the make, model, and S/N into InspectExpress, have a button you can push that will go to the CPSC website and do the search for you, allow you to browse whatever hits you get, and select any that you want to retrieve. When retrieved, you could select whether to insert it right into an appendix of your report or save it to your hard drive, or both. It seems like this would be a good "value added" feature for the program to have.

For products without specific model & S/N, have an option to do a keyword search.

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Now thats funny![:-slaphap

I can always have my son rebuilt it for you. He's blown his out of the water so many times I had to show him how to fix it for himself. No more problems[:-graduat after the forth rebuild he did. Once you start solving your own problems you get a deeper respect for the way things work. All the teachers go to him now for technical help.

Anyway, in IE7, if you are on a page that has an RSS feed the RSS icon 20061130103553_rssicon.jpg

with light up. If you click on it you can subscribe to the feed. It is pretty simple.

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Oh!

Dang! That's what that is. I thought it was a speaker volume control or something, so I stayed away from it. I've got a volume knob on my desk speakers. I don't need one on the screen.

Maybe I'll take a shot at it after I figure out what I can use the RSS thingy for. However, if you all notice that my posts suddenly disappear and you don't hear from me after a couple of months, you'll know that it definitely didn't work and I'm out there someplace wearing a ninja suit and am hunting Scott down. [:-batman]

OT - OF!!!

M.

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