Home Fire/Safety Evaluation Special
Cuenca Home Inspections will perform a full fire/life safety evaluation of your dwelling.
Evaluation Includes: Recommending placement locations for all three type of detectors. Checking gas connections and hoses on all cooking and heating appliances. Checking gas tanks and regulators for leaks. I will have all three detectors (smoke, Propane LPG Gas and Carbon Monoxide) available for purchase at cost.
Fire/Life Safety Evaluation is only $30
There is an additional $10 fee fee the installation of smoke detectors.
The Three Detectors: Smoke, Carbon Monoxide & Gas (aka Propane)
Most expats are aware of the importance of having smoke detectors in the home. It’s a no brainer. Smoke detectors save lives. Let’s not forget the other two; carbon monoxide and the gas (propane) Coming from a world where natural gas is magically pumped into your house via approved piping, meters and safety valves, it took me a little while to get used to the idea of having old beat up propane tanks in and around the house. Many cooking and heating appliances here in Ecuador do not have gas safety devices and it’s no wonder that propane gas explosions are one of the leading causes of serious home injuries and home fatalities here in Ecuador I feel that leaking gas presents the greatest hazard. The Cuenca Fire Department responds to approximately 25 related emergencies per month with many more that are not even reported.
Many residential dwellings here in Cuenca are not equipped with any type of detectors. Most of the newer condos and apartments may have the combo smoke/carbon monoxide detectors but the gas detectors if often overlooked.
Gas Detectors: There are multiple reasons for propane gas leaks.
Loose gas hose connections. Make sure all hose clamps are tightened properly.
Using the wrong type (color) of gas hose for heating appliances.
Using cheap regulators on the tank
#1 cause is worn rubber valve gaskets on the tanks.
Installing a household gas detector is very simple and can greatly reduce the risk of having a gas explosion in your home. Gas detectors plug right into the wall. Easy Peasy. Propane has a slightly higher specific gravity than air so it tends to sink in still air. Propane also has an odor. In the event there is a propane leak the gas detector will sound an alarm just like a smoke alarm.
Steps to take if you notice a propane gas leak inside your home:
Do not turn on any light switches or appliances.
If possible, quickly identify the leak, turn off or disconnect the gas source
Immediately have everyone go outside.
Open a few doors and windows to allow for cross ventilation.
If you feel that there is still a potential dangerous environment I recommend calling the Cuenca Fire Department at 911. Don’t be shy, that’s what they’re there for and they are all very willing to help.
Smoke Detectors: We all know about smoke detectors. Generally one on each floor, centrally located and up high and one in each bedroom. No smoke detectors in the kitchen. Change batteries every six months.
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors: Potential carbon monoxide hazards do exist here due to non-venting calefons (water heaters), gas cooking and portable heating appliances inside the dwelling. Carbon Monoxide has no odor, which makes it impossible to detect with our sense of smell. Install anywhere you have a non-venting gas appliance, ie, calefon water heater, gas range or gas space heater. Of course it is always best to have all of your gas appliances vented to the exterior. Do not install within 15 feet of cooking or heating appliances or near bathrooms. Installing near bedrooms is best. Change batteries every six months.
LPG Gas Detector Available at Kywi for around $25