Maintenance and Evaluations

Adequate exterior maintenance of a chapter house should include annual evaluations, using the following guidelines.

  • The roof should be reviewed with regard to years in place, as well as weather conditions experienced. Exterior flashing and trim also should be inspected.
  • Windows and doors should be reviewed/evaluated with regard to weather, tightness, and physical condition. Caulking around doors and window frames should be checked, and any cracked or broken windows should be replaced. Important criteria used in the selection process are the use of double panes with thermal break, and the "R-Value."
  • Inspection of exterior walls depends upon material. If the wall is masonry, inspection should include general review of the masonry units, as well as the joints. If the exterior is wood siding, check to see if it needs painting or staining.
  • All exterior lighting fixtures and wiring should be part of the overall annual electrical inspection. All weather-proof outlets should be reviewed for current and/or future needs.
  • Landscaping of the site should be reviewed for overall "curb appeal." The landscaping is part of the first impression that is presented to university officials, students, visitors, and the local community. Are the trees and bushes trimmed? Is the lawn in good condition? These questions need to be answered in the annual review process.
  • The walk, steps, curbs, drives, and other paved areas need to be inspected for cracks and general movement. Minor repairs need immediate attention before they become problems. Asphalt drives need to be re-sealed each fall.
  • All exits, stairways, and other means of egress need constant attention. There can be no storage in routes of egress. Also, no storage on stairs, stairwells, balconies, fire escapes, etc. Handrails, as well as treads and risers of stairs, must be in good repair.

Interior evaluation of the physical plant, on an annual basis, should include (1) plumbing, (2) HVAC, (3) electrical, (4) fire marshal, (5) board of health (kitchen), (6) structure, and (7) finishes.

As landlords and brothers, representatives of the house corporation should work with officers of the undergraduate chapter to make certain maintenance is an important part of chapter operations.

The following eight pages of this section offer comprehensive checklists to assist you in that effort.

Maintenance Checklists


  • Sweep/vacuum heavily used areas
  • Clean and disinfect bathroom toilets and sinks
  • Wet mop bathroom floors
  • Clean shower floors
  • Clean kitchen surfaces including stove top, sink, and countertops
  • Wash and sterilize dishes
  • Remove garbage/trash from all public areas
  • Empty ashtrays in public areas


  • Thoroughly clean/disinfect shower floors and walls
  • Thoroughly clean/disinfect floors in food service areas
  • Thoroughly sweep/vacuum all public areas
  • Empty trash baskets from rooms
  • Thoroughly clean trash receptacles
  • Dust all public areas
  • Mow and trim lawn (in season)
  • Inspect house for maintenance/custodial concerns and correct as necessary (interior & exterior lights/bulbs, holes in walls, broken windows, litter, fire equipment, etc.)


  • Clean filters in range hood vent system
  • Maintain shrubbery and flower beds (in season)


  • Change furnace filters
  • Clean gutters (in season)
  • Snake shower drains
  • Insect/rodent control


  • Organize storage areas


  • Service fire extinguishers
  • Thoroughly clean student rooms
  • Professionally clean kitchen, floors, bathrooms, carpets, and drapes
  • Steam clean range vent systems
  • Organize and clean food storage areas
  • Inventory keys/replace keys and locks as necessary
  • Caulk and regrout showers
  • Inspect roofs/repair as necessary
  • Clean paneling/wipe walls
  • Clean fireplace and chimney
  • Touch up walls, ceilings and woodwork in all student rooms and public area

Fire and Safety Inspection Checklist


  • A fire extinguisher is required to be within 75 feet of every area and within 50 feet from a special hazard, such as the kitchen or a workshop.
  • Fire extinguishers must be checked annually by a licensed service contractor.
  • Fire extinguishers should not be hung higher than 5 feet from the floor to the top of the extinguisher.
  • Extinguishers are classified as "A", "B", or "C". Type "A" is required for ordinary (wood, paper, some plastics, etc.) hazards.
  • Type "B" is required for liquid (grease, paint, some plastics, etc.) hazards.
  • Type "C" is required for electrical hazards.
  • Multi-purpose ("ABC") extinguishers are available for combined hazards and are the type recommended.


  • There must be at least two exits from every area.
  • Exits must be accessible without the use of a key (security can only be provided by approved alarm locks).
  • Exits must be marked with illuminated exit signs that are working.
  • Storage, furniture, trash, etc. are not allowed in corridors or stairways.
  • Fire doors to stairways and storage rooms must close and latch automatically.
  • Fire doors may not be blocked open (fire doors can only stay open normally if smoke detectors connected to automatically releasing door holders are installed).
  • The walls and ceilings of corridors and stairs must be solid. Any holes or other damage must be repaired.
  • Exits may not be hidden by draperies, furniture, etc.
  • Exit doors must open outwardly.
  • Corridor doors must be solid doors (20 minute fire rated). These must have automatic door closers, unless there are approved smoke detectors in the corridors.


  • Every building must have a fire alarm system that is always working.
  • Each bell or horn, manual alarm station, and smoke or heat detector must work.
  • The alarm stations must be red, and may not be covered or blocked by furniture, posters, drapes, etc.
  • Smoke detectors are required in every room used for sleeping and are recommended in the corridors and stairs.
  • When it is sounding, the fire alarm must be heard in every area of the building.


  • The interior finish of corridors, stairways, foyers, lobbies, and any other exits must be rated Class A or B. This means that paneling, ceiling tile, carpets, decorations, etc. in these areas must be fire retardant.
  • The interior finish of all other areas must be rated Class A, B or C. This allows a more flammable finish, but still prohibits very flammable finishes, such as some wood paneling, paper, some fabrics, etc.
  • The use of very flammable decorations is prohibited.


  • Every required safety device (fire alarms, exit lights, fire doors, etc.) must work, and must be kept in good repair.


  • Sprinkler systems are required in most storage areas, and must be turned on at all times.
  • Extinguisher systems are required to protect the kitchen exhaust hood and deep fryers, griddles, and stove tops. These must be inspected and serviced every six months.


  • Flammable liquids (paints, etc.) must be limited to that needed for routine maintenance, and must be stored in approved storage rooms. Approved storage rooms are rooms separated from the rest of the building by 1 hour fire rated construction and having a sprinkler system.
  • Gasoline is prohibited from the building, including that in the tanks of cycles, mopeds, lawnmowers, and storage cans.
  • Combustible storage (furniture, luggage, paper supplies, lumber, tires, etc.) may only be in approved storage rooms.


  • Accumulations of combustible debris which could block an exit or could easily be set on fire are prohibited.


  • Each dormitory, fraternity, and sorority is advised to conduct a fire exit drill each semester, witnessed by a fire inspector.


Areas which are posted by signs or painted curbs are fire lanes. Vehicles parked in these areas would block rescue ladder trucks from getting ladders to your window. The above items have been condensed from the fire prevention laws which apply to residence facilities, including fraternity and sorority houses. These are not all of the fire prevention laws, but include the most common deficiencies found during campus inspections and are, generally, items which can be corrected before an inspection.

Many other fire prevention code requirements pertain to the method and materials used to construct the building. Any deficiencies of this type will be brought to your attention during the fire inspection.

Health Inspection Checklist


  • Clean/good repair
  • Cleaned by dustless methods
  • No mop streaks, dirty corners or splash marks
  • Proper cleaning method used


  • Clean
  • Good repair


  • Toilet facilities, showers and wash bowls adequate/good repair
  • Toilets have no cross connection
  • Adequate cleaning indicated
  • No offensive odors
  • Well ventilated
  • Adequate lighting
  • Floors clean, well drained
  • No duckboards, foot tubs or foot baths
  • No personal items present


  • Cleaned daily
  • Good repair
  • Angle jet
  • No common drinking cups


  • Adequate
  • Bracket fans where needed
  • No offensive odors


  • Adequate
  • Light bulbs present/function


  • No evidence of insect infestation
  • No evidence of rodents
  • Outward opening/self closing doors
  • All outside openings screened


  • Properly protected
  • Clean/good repair
  • Adequate/proper storage of surplus mattresses
  • Mattress covers and bed linen clean
  • Aired routinely


  • Trash receptacles with covers present
  • Trash emptied daily
  • Trash removed from rooms weekly
  • Trash receptacles in food service areas cleaned daily when emptied
  • Garbage and trash pickup adequate
  • No offensive odors


  • Dumpster area outside of building clean
  • Grounds and lawn clean and unlittered
  • Sidewalks, stairs, and railings in good repair


  • Soiled linen and clothes stowed in bag or hamper
  • Closets clean/adequate
  • Head-to-foot sleeping arrangements
  • Trash removed from room


  • Cleaning gear properly cleaned and stored
  • Coffee urns sanitized daily
  • Boiler or furnace room clean
  • Vending machines clean
  • Ash trays clean/adequate

All buildings and grounds should be maintained to provide a safe and healthful environment. This checklist has been prepared to assist house managers and directors in establishing minimum standards for housekeeping maintenance and cleanliness. This list is not exhaustive; additional violations of health standards may be noted during the chapter inspection.

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