Is a home inspector culpable for not finding obvious safety hazards? Posted on February 20, 2011

Prior to purchasing my home 9 months ago, I paid a home inspecting company to inspect my home, which included inspection of my attic, which is where my furnace is located. Within the last 6 days, I have had 2 AC/Heating professionals consult for placement of a new air conditioning system. Both stated immediately upon visual inspection from the ladder prior to entering the attic, that my furnace is too close to the rafters in the attic. The first AC professional performed a viual inspection from the ladder without physically going into the attic. The other AC professional went into the attic after performing a visual inspection from the ladder. He inspected the spacing between the rafters and the furnace and agreed with the first AC professional that the furnace is too close to the rafters. He also stated that the furnace is sitting on the wood of the attic floor, which he stated is a fire hazard. My home inspection report does not mention that the furnace is too close to the rafters or that the furnace is sitting on the floor of the attic. Therefore, it doesn't mention the safety hazard or potential for starting a fire. The contractor today told me not to use the furnace at all, because of the fire hazard. Tonight the temperature is going to be 34 degrees Fahrenheit. Is the home inspector and the home inspecting company culpable for not finding this fire hazard which was obvious to these 2 professionals on visual inspection prior to entering the attic? Thank you.

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