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Think Like a Building Inspector


What should you look for when evaluating your studio space for safety?

  • Look for clues that may indicate potential problems and safety hazards
  • Get help if you need it. Call in an electrician contractor, structural engineer or other expert if you have questions you or the landlord cannot answer.

Your studio and studio site safety concerns

  • Is your studio in a flood zone or in a region more susceptible to wildfires, hurricanes or tornadoes?
  • Are there overhanging trees that could damage your studio?
  • Is your studio in an area of high criminal activity?
  • Are there other business activities in the building or close by that could pose a health or safety threat?
  • Is the building structurally sound and well maintained?
  • Is there more than one means of egress from the studio?

Fire and CO precautions in your studio

  • Install and routinely test smoke and CO detectors
  • Install fire extinguishers in clearly visible locations in the studio, and set up a maintenance schedule for them
  • If your studio is in a sprinklered space, ask the landlord about their inspection procedures and schedule

Studio equipment safety

  • Place equipment so as to provide adequate working room around them
  • Anchor shelving units to the wall and heavy equipment to the floor in case of earthquake
  • Install safeguards on equipment if they are missing
  • Keep equipment well maintained for a safer work environment
  • Consider installing an eyewash station in case of eye exposure to chemicals Financial Investment


  • Consider having an electrician inspect your studio’s current electrical system and review your electrical needs Needs an Expert
  • Is the electrical service entering your studio’s building intact and free of damage?
  • Is the service amperage and number of circuits adequate for your studio equipment’s needs?
  • Are the electrical receptacles distributed appropriately among the circuits and place appropriately in the studio given your electrical needs?
  • Are the main and task-specific lighting systems adequate?


  • If the art materials and processes you use release toxic fumes into the air, a studio ventilation system is essential.
  • If the studio generates airborne particulate matter (e.g., wood/clay/fiber dust), have adequate air filtration and set up a routine for cleaning filters.
  • If there is any source of combustion in studio processes, make sure that there is adequate fresh air supply.


  • Don’t block your exits
  • Don’t overburden your electrical service

Studio Inspection Safety Checklist