So I’m wondering the extent to which I should inspect and report on forest fire mitigation. Many of the homes in my area are in forest fire country. I could not find any exclusions in the Oregon SOP or the Internachi SOP. I feel like this should be reported on in the same way retaining walls area reported on.
Even though the home site isn’t part of the home, the home site can endanger the home or its occupants, just like a dangerous retaining wall. There are even laws in my area for specific fuelbreak requirements and acquiring homeowner’s insurance is growing problem for some.
Input would be appreciated. What do you report on and to what extent for forest fire mitigation? What limitation statements do you recommend?
Could a full inspection be considered “exhaustive” meriting a more general inspection where I refer the client to contact the local fire department?
I moved to a different state within the last year. Due to timing, I was unable to inspect the house I was buying or even attend/participate in the inspection.
I moved to an area where wildfires were a hazard. My inspector covered it in a general sense and covered a couple of specific items then advised me to seek additional resources. Of course, there are many resources that you could refer clients to. The report prompted me to contact my local fire district office and we walked the property and developed a mitigation plan.
I considered it above and beyond the scope of expected service, but it was much appreciated and gave me what I needed to pursue it further.
From a consumer’s perspective, I think you’re on target.
Thanks! For anyone who wants freebies or can give more more advice on these comments, here are my limitation comment and moderate defect comment:
“Inspection of forest fire mitigation lies beyond the scope of the general home inspection. Comments on the condition of the defensible space are provided as a courtesy, and so should not be considered a complete inspection of the home site’s defensible space. Please inquire with the local fire department for more information on the homesite’s fire defensibility prior the Inspection Objection Deadline.”
“Fire mitigation around the property was lacking in some areas and needed improvement. The home is constructed in a known forest fire area, and with it comes a responsibility of fire prevention maintenance. Acquiring home owner’s insurance can be complicated or delayed if the home site has inadequate fuelbreaks or fire access restrictions. We recommend contacting the local fire department to learn more about fire prevention and defensible space requirements for this area. All improvements, especially those requiring the use of chainsaws, should be made by a qualified person. Also, here is an excellent resource for Jackson/Josephine County residences living in forest fire areas: Living With Wildfire: A Homeowner’s Guide.”