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What Are the Duties of a Building Inspector?

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Usually employed by local government offices in order to ensure that all local and state safety standards are being met, a building inspector has specific job duties that include checking a building's fire extinguishers to ensure they are working properly. Some building inspectors specialize in inspecting electrical wiring for faulty and unsafe conditions, while others specialize in examining water lines.

Inspects Structural Quality

Before major construction begins on a project, a building inspector will check the soil and other conditions of the building's foundation site to ensure that blueprint plans for the building comply with local building codes. As the building inspector examines the soil of the site before concrete is poured into the correct areas of the site, she checks the future positioning and depth of the structure's beam footing as well.

Checks Fire Safety

A primary concern of the building inspector is to examine fire safety conditions of buildings to make sure that the people working or living in the building can escape a fire quickly and efficiently. By checking a building's emergency fire exits, smoke control systems, fire sprinkler systems and fire protection equipment for overall quality, the building inspector can determine whether the building is up to code on these important safety concerns.

Inspects Electrical Systems

In order to prevent electrical fires from occurring in large or small buildings, the inspector will thoroughly examine a building's electrical wiring systems, electrical motors, generating equipment and lighting systems for faulty wiring elements. Heating and air-conditioning systems are also examined by building inspectors on a regular basis in order to ensure they are all maintained properly and can pass an inspection.

Issues Violation Notices

When a building inspector does a complete check on a building and finds that specific fire safety conditions are not being properly met or a building is suffering from major structural damage, he will issue a violation notice to the building owner. The inspector will go over the exact violation that has occurred with the owner after issuing the notice and will also explain the regulations required by law with the owner as need arises.


Rob Mead has written professionally since 2008. He regularly contributes to a variety of websites including Home Theater Review and Home Entertainment. His work is dedicated to in-depth reviews of HDTV components and audio-visual components. Mead graduated from Yorktown Heights Technical School with a two-year degree in media arts in 1986.

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