How to Create a Building Inspection Checklist?

This is an updated version of a blog post originally published in October 2016.

Although smaller companies can operate from single rooms or start-up cafés, the bigger counterparts usually occupy whole buildings or several, for that matter. And even the smaller businesses work from areas that somebody else has to supervise.

For these businesses, it is important that the building they are in operates like it should. Therefore knowing how to create a building inspection checklist is a crucial part of know-how of any facility or property manager. We've already provided general guidelines for creating great checklists, but this blog post introduces more specific ideas for buildings.

Here’s a list of the most common building inspection violations and recommendations on how to improve the situation.

1. Aisles, Hallways, Corridors, Stairwells

Generally, all kinds of corridors should be free of furniture that can possibly obstruct people from exiting a space. However, if such violation takes place, the next step is to move the furniture away to more suitable places. Don’t hesitate to ask for help if it’s needed.

2. Exits

This should be clear to everyone: exit areas ought to be always cleared out so that in the case of an incident or accident, people are able to flee from the scene. So make sure that there’s nothing obstructing the exit routes.

3. Housekeeping

All the building areas and office spaces should be kept orderly and in a sanitary condition. It’s also important to secure power and data cables from clutter.

4. Exit Lights

Ensure the lights are clearly visible and the light is operational. 

5. Fire Doors

Be aware of the fire doors that are supposed to be closed. Normally, fire doors tend to lead to a staircase. They shouldn’t be propped open since that might result in severe consequences in case of a fire in the building.

6. Office rooms

There shouldn’t be too many chairs or people in one single office space at a time. The maximum amount of people is based on the number of exit doors in that space. Too many chairs can prevent exiting the room in case of an emergency. It’s highly recommended to evaluate the capacity of each building and office space.

7. Open Flames

Have clear instructions whether candles and other open flame products or devices are allowed in the building and what are the specific requirements should they be used.

8. Electrical / Mechanical Rooms

As the name entails, electrical and mechanical rooms are meant for their purpose. They are not “extra space for storage” and therefore no chairs, tables or other furniture should be stored in such rooms.

9. Electrical Cords

Ensure that there are no tripping hazards and the cords are not easily damaged. This includes not tying cords together or accepting any “home-made” electrical work.

10. Sockets

All sockets should be well-operating and include a cover plate.

11. Electrical Panels

It’s recommended to have a clearance of 36 inches (~91cm) around all electrical panel boxes.

12. Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers have to be accessible and the actual location well-indicated. They need to be inspected monthly and annually.

13. Sprinklers

No storage or other items should be placed within 24 inches (~60cm) of a ceiling and 18 inches (~45cm) of a sprinkler head for them to function properly.

14. Chemicals

All chemicals must be labeled accordingly to avoid any misuse of the chemical. Remove all unlabeled chemical containers.

Once you have nailed the content of your building inspection checklist, it is time to think about the optimal way to conduct, share, manage and analyse them. Modern web applications have a lot of benefits when compared against traditional pen-and-paper checklists, Word documents or Excel spreadsheets. Test our platform FREE for 30 days and experience the difference yourself:

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Check List Facility Inspection

Anthony Jones

Chief Operating Officer