Exterior Area Checklist

The exterior areas around your stores are critically important to first impressions! Below, a list of criteria for ensuring the area around your stores is clean and safe.

This checklist comes from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety and is included here in case the information is moved or removed from their website.

Around the Building

  1. Is the address sign or number easily visible from the street?
  2. Are garbage containers emptied on a regular basis?
  3. Is waste stored in appropriate waste or recycling storage areas?
  4. Is the property kept clear of litter, combustibles, hazardous materials, old batteries, etc?
  5. If present, is the security system working properly?
  6. If present, are smoking areas clean?
  7. Is an appropriate cigarette butt receptacle available?

Parking Lot

  1. Are appropriate signs posted (e.g., no parking in fire routes, etc.)?
  2. Are the parking areas free from trip hazards (e.g., no potholes, cracks, etc.)?
  3. Is the lighting adequate in the area and walkways at night?
  4. Is the parking lot kept free of debris?
  5. In winter, is the parking lot free from ice and snow?

Also see:

Parking lot checklist
Loss prevention checklist for parking operators

Compliantia - CommExe Ads 2 - parking lot - v1.jpg

  1. Are stairs, stairwells, and landings kept clear and unobstructed?
  2. In winter, are stairs, stairwells, and landings kept clear from ice and snow?
  3. Are stairways adequately lit?
  4. Are stairs, treads, handrails, and any guards secure and in good condition?
  5. Do treads and landings have non-skid surfaces and they are in good condition?

Exits / Fire Safety

  1. Are all emergency exits, exit doors, landings, and steps from the building well marked, unblocked, and kept in good condition?
  2. In winter, are exits kept free from ice and snow?
  3. In winter, is the roof area over the exits free of falling ice and snow hazards?
  4. Are exit doors, landings, and steps well lit? Are the lights over the exit doors working and in good repair?
  5. In winter, is the access ramp clear of ice and snow, and is there good traction?
  6. Can the building be easily accessed by the fire department? Are fire lanes accessible and posted?
  7. Are the fire department hose connections kept clear, accessible and have caps?
  8. Is the electrical service entrance area clear of trees and branches?
  9. Are all electrical wires out of reach of the public?
  10. Does the chimney (if present) appear in good repair with the correct clearances?


  1. Are walkways clear and in good condition? Are there any holes or trip hazards on grounds where workers/public may walk?
  2. In winter, are ice and snow cleared promptly from walkways?
  3. Is security lighting functioning properly?
  4. Are exit routes (from the grounds) well marked, and kept clear and unobstructed?
  5. Is fencing is in good condition?
  6. Is any outdoor machinery in good repair?
  7. Are workers using machinery properly trained?
  8. Do workers have adequate protection from the elements (sun, cold)?
  9. Do workers who require Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) know how to use it properly?

Storage Shed

  1. Are hazardous products adequately stored and labeled?
  2. Are incompatible materials stored separately?
  3. Is the shed or area secured and access limited?
  4. Is there any sign of leaks or spills?
  5. Are “No Smoking” signs posted when flammable products are stored?
  6. Is the storage area protected from exposure to heat, moisture, vibration, flame, etc. as appropriate for the products stored?
  7. Is equipment and machinery in good condition?
  8. Are any required PPE available to workers and they have clear instructions?

Loading Areas

  1. If required, are pedestrian walkways clearly marked?
  2. Are vehicles and/or loads secured from accidental movement?
  3. Is the area kept free of obstructions or debris?
  4. Are any lifting devices, racking systems, etc. in good condition?
  5. If required, are machine guards in place?
  6. Visually, does it look like material handling and manual material handling procedures are being followed?


  1. Is signage clearly visible to passing pedestrian and car traffic?
  2. Is signage current and in good repair?
  3. Is someone responsible for keeping signage/exterior clean?
  4. Is signage well lit?
  5. Is signage free from burnt out lightbulbs?
  6. Are store hours up to date and visible?
  7. Is parking signage and direction present?

Drive-thru Area

If your store has a drive-thru, see the drive-thru checklist.

More ways to improve your safety standards:

Compliant IA is the leading retail audit platform. It runs on smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Field managers and stores use the app to complete smart checklists at store-level, take photos, and assign tasks with automated reminders. Head office can ensure programs are deployed in time, in full,  everywhere.


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