Proposed change to COMSOP's definition of "unsafe." Suggestions?

The word “unsafe” is often used by inspectors to describe a condition that posses a risk to occupants (something that should be addressed)…


often used by inspectors to explain why they can’t enter, inspect or do something.

We want a definition that encompasses both:

“Unsafe: A condition of an area, system, component, or procedure which, in the inspector’s opinion, poses a significant risk to the personal safety of either the occupants and/or him/herself. The danger to the occupants may be due to damage, deterioration, improper installation, a change in accepted standards, etc. The danger to the inspector may be due to height, water, electrical issues, debris, weather conditions, etc., and may restrict his/her access and/or limit the inspection.”


1960’s house with no GFCI or AFCI protection.

Garage door opener with no photocells.

Lack of CO detectors.

Back porch balcony ledger board connected to a brick wall with only lead sinkers and lag screws.

Exterior receptacles with no GFCI protection.

If it is “unsafe” according to “current construction standards” (i.e., National Codes), I would say that it should be called out to the clients.

If you don’t, and someone gets hurt, the HI gets sued.

And the clients, or their kids, might get killed or hurt.

And, isn’t that what this job is all about.

I see many of the oder guys writing it as “Operating as intended”.

In my opinion, this is a cop out.

We are hired to educate and inform the client, with a fiduciary responsibility.

To do otherwise in simply unprofessional.

Just my opinion.


Why not invent the terms “UTI” and “UTO”.

UTI = Unsafe to inspect.

UTO = Unsafe to occupy.

I am sorry. I didn’t understand that this was the Commercial SOP. My previous comments were directed at residential inspections.

But, could the same reasoning apply?

Sorry for my oversite error. :wink:

I was in residential mode too…

At least I was in good company.

I would suggest that both of us need to get more sleep. :wink:


I like your definition, and would include “in the inspector’s sole opinion”.

This provides a bit of lattitude, especially as it pertains to entering confined spaces or any area the inspector believes may be hazardous.

Hazardous and unsafe are synonymous

Will writes

I agree.


Barry, Done, Thanks,

Should there be a double (But But) in the
Thermal Imaging Addendum to Commercial Inspection Agreement.

  1. Thermal imaging services do NOT include any inspections, examinations, testing or evaluations for harmful, dangerous, or toxic substances or materials or environmental hazards including but not limited to: mold, bio-aerosols, radon, lead, asbestos, non-biological airborne particulates, contaminants, petroleum products, petrochemicals, radioactive materials, electromagnetic radiation, plant, animal, or insect secretions or excretions. Infrared cameras are not moisture meters but but can aid in identifying areas that warrant further investigation. If INSPECTOR offers any information or opinions about any of the forgoing, this information shall be deemed to be informational only and supplied as a courtesy to the CLIENT and shall not be deemed to be an amendment to this addendum or the commercial inspection agreement.

I’ll fix fix, thanks thanks.