What CYA Photos do you take?

So, I have been adding more and more CYA photos to my filmstrip. For example, I photo my shoe booties when I enter the home. I photo locked doors when I leave, the oven/stove controls in the off position, panels back in place etc. Recently, a home I had inspected burned down before closing. It was vacant and I was possibly the last person in the home. I rushed home and looked at my CYA photos, I was not responsible for the fire in anyway.

What CYA photos do you all take?


I take post inspection photographs which will include the stove settings, water heater settings, circuit breaker settings and three photographs of the water meter as I leave. These all get included in my report under a subchapter called post inspection photographs.

I highly recommend adding a body camera to your tools. A few months ago I was accused of damaging a dryer on a 12 month warranty inspection. I provided video that illustrated the dryer was not tested during my inspection. The accusation was made three weeks after the inspection. In this case photographs would not have helped.

I also make sure to capture a walk around of the house when I’m done inspecting. I will check windows turn off lights and ensure all the doors are locked especially the front door and the key is in the key box. All of this captured on video.


Wow, Martin you do cover it. Keeps you out of hot water.

I thought I did a enough with pictures of the thermostat setting, and the door lock as I’m setting it.


How do you prove the photo is the “last time” you touched “that” what you took a picture of? For example, you can take a picture of a turned off stove then immediately turn it on. You can take picture of your booties and then take them off or lose them, and so on… A timestamped photo does not prove you did not “change” or “touch” the object afterwards. The photo is just a capture of some “time”, it does not show what you did before or after.

Seems to me this is where a body-cam would be actual proof… as long as you don’t turn it off until after you drive away!!


Great ideas, and the sub-folder is a good one too.

I think a photo journal will show a sequence of events as well as demonstrate the awareness of the inspector. If I were to be “called to the stand” I could describe my methodology and have a supporting photo journal. Body cams are becoming popular for good reason in our “sue happy” world.

1 Like

You can say anything you want, it becomes nothing more than your word. No proof. A bodycam can show and document it, as long as it’s not altered, but some argue against the use of bodycams (legal and ethical).

My word has value as a well trained, well educated, experienced inspector. You will find many inspectors on here who have been hired as expert witnesses, educators and mentors. But you are right, my word against theirs and the more evidence I have to support my work the better. The judge or jury will take it all into consideration. In fact, I have had sellers try to circle around on me and I was able to squash it before it became a thing because of my experience and documentation.

1 Like

What’s nice about the body camera is its a device that has an unbroken timeline. My camera displays the time and GPS location. Footage cannot be altered and only downloaded on a computer. You cannot alter the footage in the field. If I exit the home with a Suprakey the lock time is sent to the listing agent as proof the inspection is complete. This is perhaps the only method I can think of that keeps inspectors out of hot water. I don’t perform inspections without a body camera and inform any occupants of the device. If they have a problem with it I wont perform the inspection. I have many other things I can be doing.


What body cam do you use?

1 Like

Thank you for that information. Do you wear a harness? Clip it to something?

I clip it to the front of my tool belt

1 Like

Men, Follow Inspectors,

What happen to “Trust”. Then there is the maxim used by most lawyers: Deny, Deny, Make counter accusations, and at last give up your boss.

Keep the faith,
Indianapolis, IN

1 Like

Hey Martin,

How do you inform folks of the device?

(What dyou actually say?)

Every BS accusation or call is pushing me closer to using one. I’ve wondered how I could best mention it without freaking others out.

Do you even need to mention it? Just wear it and inspect.

I tell folks I wear one so if I forget something while finalizing my report at home I can reference the body cam footage. I never had someone second guess that.

Depends on where you are, The state of Oregon requires you to notify anyone being recorded.

I’m just wondering what exactly he says. “You are being recorded” feels pretty awkward. I’ve seen someone who just has a small sign (almost the size of a name tag) that says recording in progress.

I forget the exact terminology, but basically by notifying them, you are creating a consent of the recording (which really only matters in a court of law).

The same rule applies here even for voice recordings, so like phone calls you have to tell someone they’re being recorded otherwise it’s not admissible.

1 Like

If I identify a plumbing leak under the sink I take a photo of the area showing a towel where I dried the area.
I always take basic proof photos of the refrigerator/freezer, hot water, AC and Heat temperatures. I usually take about 150 photos on average.
I think inspectors can be accused of just about anything that goes wrong after an inspection. I personally do not think wearing a body cam will change that. It can reduce some liability but not all. Not to say I find anything wrong with wearing one, its not for me.

1 Like