Is your attic access safe?
February 25, 2011
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Typical Attic Access
Do you have an access point to your attic? Is yours like the one in the picture (left)? If so, you are not alone. This is very common in single story homes, in garages, and even in two story homes.
It was a typical home inspection in every sense of the word. Small house, less than 1700 square feet, built in the late 80’s on a crawlspace with a pull down ladder for access to the attic! I am sure the owners have used that drop down ladder a before without incident but on this day it was a deadly accident waiting to happen.
On this particular day our inspector manages to get in the attic without a problem it is on the return trip down that the malfunction took place. Just as he settled his second foot on the the top step the entire system, framing and all, fell completely out of the ceiling leaving the inspector dangling above the floor. It was by the grace of God and his quick reflexes that he was able to catch himself by grabbing the rafters and prevent him from falling the 8 feet to the floor along with the pull down ladder system. Thankfully he only suffered a minor cut and bruising.
Actually we see it all too often, that the attic access hatch is not properly installed. Unfortunately you have to be in the attic before you can determine that it as improperly installed. The scary scenarios of “what if” are endless. What if a mom was climbing down with arms full of Christmas decor while the kids were running around below? We don’t want to even think of those things. Being able to detect and report such potentially harmful failures is why we do what we do. From now on PHI will never use the attic access pull down ladder systems. We will use our own ladders that are set secured in place!
If you are concerned about your attic access or other home maintenance issues please call us and ask us about our home maintenance inspections. Maybe you are too busy, don’t know what to look for, or don’t want to take that risk (see pic right)! Our inspections will generate an easy to read report giving you all the information you need to maintain a safe and sound home! They say “Experience is the best teacher”, so let us put our experiences, even the scary ones, to work for you! Call us today: 615-481-7293!