Home inspectors are expected to put themselves into all kinds of dangerous situations when inspecting a home, many of which are unpredictable. Between crawl spaces, attics, rooftops, and the possibility of run-ins with dangerous critters, the home inspecting job by nature is a relatively risky one. However, all too often safety during home inspections is overlooked not only during training but also on the day to day job.

Safety Tips for Home Inspectors

As a home inspector, it’s important to know what precautions to take when you’re working to keep yourself safe. The following tips can help you protect yourself, which is especially important when most of your job deals with unknowns.

Protect yourself during a Roof Inspection:

Roof inspections can be dangerous, especially during the winter months. Make sure that you take precautions against injury. Never enter a dangerous situation like a roof in inclement weather. If you need to inspect a roof, wait until the weather is clear and the roof is free from ice, snow, and other slip-and-fall hazards before performing your inspection.

Use Proper Head Protection

Always wear protective headgear like a hard hat to prevent injuries on the job. You never know what hazards you may encounter so be prepared, especially if you’re working in an older or abandoned home.

Proper Safety During Crawl Space Inspections:

Take care when performing inspections in tight spaces, as these areas can be especially dangerous for home inspectors. Always wear head protection in crawl spaces and attics. Small or confined spaces can present hazards to a home inspector, even in newer homes, so make sure that your head is properly protected against accidental injury. Wear a hard hat and heavy clothing when necessary.

Always be aware of your Surroundings

Practice good observational awareness when you are out in the field. Carefully inspect little-used spaces like attics or crawl spaces before you enter them. If you are working in an old or abandoned property, check for damage to steps, stairs, floors, or banisters. Carefully examine wiring when working with electrical outlets or systems.

Educate yourself on Native Critters

Make sure that you are knowledgeable about animals and pests in your area. This way you will be informed in case you encounter poisonous snakes, insects, or spiders during an inspection. Know which animals are poisonous and take precautions. Exercise caution in overgrown weeds or grass as these areas can house wild animals.

Carry a Backup Flashlight

A home inspection will take you into all the small and hidden spaces in a home, and you will have frequent need for a flashlight. Make sure you are prepared by bringing a backup flashlight and extra batteries so your job isn’t interrupted by faulty equipment.

Wear Rubber-Soled Shoes for Garage Inspections

Garages can contain oil leaks, spills, rusty nails, or other hazards. Proper work gear includes rubber-soled shoes that prevent slip and fall accidents and can help you grip unsteady surfaces and prevent injury to your feet.

Perform Regular Tool Inspections and Replace Old or Worn-Out Tools

Like any profession, your tools are your bread and butter. Make sure that you inspect them regularly and replace any tools that are old or no longer function properly.

Inspect your Ladder on a Regular Basis

Home inspectors are on ladders all the time, so it’s important that all parts are in working order. Check the rungs frequently for damage and make sure that your ladder is sturdy and doesn’t wobble.

Wear Fire-Resistant Shirts for Spark and Electrical Safety

Fire-retardant clothing may seem extreme but it can help protect you from potential injuries on the job. You might have faulty wiring to contend with so make sure that you are adequately covered.

Use Insulated Tools for Electrical Work

Use insulated tools when possible to prevent electrocution from damaged electrical systems.

Wear the Proper Attire During your Home Inspection

Proper clothing and protective coverings are essential for a home inspector. You may encounter potentially dangerous situations, so it’s important to dress for the job and protect yourself. Make sure you cover up by wear protective clothing like long sleeves and long pants. You may prefer sturdy work boots to protect your feet, and make sure you aren’t wearing loose-fitting clothing that can catch and tear on nails, screws, or other obstacles. Protect your hands and forearms against electrical shock and injury with rubber gloves. Leather protectors will also help to mitigate any damage from electric shock or lacerations.

Safety Checklist for Inspectors:

  • Ensure that the roof is dry and free of ice before stepping out on it
  • Check floors and foundations for cracks, damage, loose boards or anything that may create a hazard
  • Ensure that stairs are safe to walk on and stair rails and banisters are intact and stable
  • Watch for potential hazards on the property such as rusty metal or nails, overgrown brush that may house snakes or other animals, damaged or decrepit outbuildings, and cracked pavement or crumbling steps
  • Check ladders for broken or weak rungs
  • Take caution when entering enclosed spaces such as attics or basements where there may be wild animals or exposed wires
  • Wear the appropriate clothing for the situation and weather. Ensure that you are protected from slips, falls, head injury, and electrical shock.
  • Take appropriate precautions against animals and know which animals live in your area and which present a threat

Home Inspector Safety Checklist- Errors and Omissions for Home Inspectors- Elite MGA

Protect Yourself with Home Inspector E&O Insurance 

Spending time, money, and effort to improve safety precautions can not only save your business money but could also save your life. While home inspectors must be willing to explore unfamiliar territories, it should be done with the utmost care and safety. In addition to these safety tips while on the job, another great way to protect yourself as a home inspector is to invest in home inspector errors & omissions insurance.

For more questions about how you can protect yourself as a home inspector, contact us at Elite InspectInsure!

Another great way to protect yourself as a home inspector is to invest in E&O insurance. This can protect your finances in case of a missed issue during an inspection that leads to a lawsuit.

For more questions about how you can protect yourself as a home inspector, contact us at Elite InspectInsure!

This article has been updated for 2020 and all information is current.