I want to start off by saying that nothing I say is truly mandatory. Every home inspection I do, I suggest many ways to stay safe and save money. As a home inspector if it is a serious safety issue I will go far lengths to keep people safe. This will always be my number one priority as a home inspector doing home inspections.
Let’s talk about some common safety issues that I will suggest during a home inspection. Believe it or not almost every home I inspect does not have enough smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in the home. I consider this a mandatory fix. Both of these things are affordable and can save your life. You should have at least on carbon monoxide detector on every floor.
Ungrounded receptacles are a common home inspector find during a home inspection. It often requires no money for the product and is a simple fix. Ungrounded receptacles are a problem when an appliance becomes ungrounded with them in combination typically.
Another common electrical issue is not enough GFCI’s in the house. These plugs turn off when in contact with water and other dangers. It is an important part of the electrical system to have these installed in your home. These should be installed in your home’s bathroom, kitchen, utility area, garage, outdoor plugs, and anywhere else electricity and come in contact with water.
Railings, hand rails, steps, stairs, decks, and porches are another area of concern. Spindles should never have more than a 4-inch gap and the triangle are between the riser, balustrade, and stair tread should be no more than a 6-inch gap. This is so kids and small animals don’t hurt themselves. If a child can fit their head through a gap the rest of their body can follow. Often on stair or catwalk features in homes this can lead to a fall from a dangerous height. It is also important for a handrail to be graspable. The elderly can sometimes have trouble grasping larger handrails. Decks and porches often are missing a guardrail all together. Anything over 30 inches from grade should have a guardrail. A good rule to follow for steps in general is about 8-inches in height one should be installed.
While these are not mandatory they all should be done. It is a bare minimum for safety requirements in my opinion. It is also important to remember that I am not a code enforcer. I may refer to code but I do not actually work for the city, state, or any other government entity.