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Inspection Guidelines



Inspection Introduction

Welcome to the inspection process.  The inspection is to help the inn, the guests, and BBIM; and the inspector’s suggestions to enhance the inn and its operations are to help the innkeepers succeed. The BBIM sponsored inspections of new or member inns, even utilizing BBIM’s established guidelines, still contain an element of subjectivity. BBIM relies upon the knowledge, experience, judgment, common sense and overall impressions of the inspector. If an inn is not fit for BBIM when compared with the established standards, and you (the Inspector) would not want to stay at the inn (based on guidelines, cleanliness and safety), the inn should not be a member of BBIM. These checklists are designed to give the inspector considerable flexibility. As such, the inspector has a responsibility that can have considerable impact on the livelihood of current or prospective members of BBIM. If, as an inspector, you have questions or concerns, please call the Quality Control Director. Most concerns can be discussed and resolved over the telephone, but if other action is necessary, it will be planned and accomplished. Finally, these instructions are guidelines and not absolutes. Please use common sense in your application of the Guidelines.

 Critical items are those things that represent pass/fail factors for an inn. If an inn has a critical discrepancy, it cannot pass inspection. It is left to the judgment of the inspector to decide whether most items are critical, major, minor or OK. There is a certain amount of flexibility built into these items at the discretion of the inspector.

 Instructions for the inspector:  Inspect each item and enter the evaluation in the block provided.  Possible ratings are no deficiency, minor deficiency, major deficiency or critical deficiency.  If an item has more than one deficiency of a type, enter the number in the appropriate block. Certain items may be restricted as to the degree of deficiency that can be awarded.  A single critical deficiency or three major deficiencies will cause an inn to fail.  Three minor deficiencies in an area is the equivalent of a major deficiency.  More than ten minor deficiencies overall constitutes a critical deficiency.  Describe any deficiencies in detail and attach photo if needed to explain a failure.


Part A: General

 1. Brochure/website describes inn accurately

 Truth in advertising is the guidance here. If the inn states directly or indirectly implies in their literature or website that they have something that they do not have, that is critical. i.e. if they say they have a full breakfast and all they provide is a continental, that is not truth in advertising. That would be a critical deficiency and cause for failure of the inspection. Other examples would be shared instead of private baths, number of rooms, etc.

2. Staff available when needed    

·        Sufficient staff to cover the needs of guests. Meeting guests’ needs is a judgment call.

·        The major item here is the ability to reach someone in the case of a problem. There are a number of ways to do this, but it must be workable and timely.

 3. Guest Information:

      a. Phones/emails answered professionally

·        Calls answered properly and quickly with the inn’s name

·        Answering machine is acceptable, but someone or something must respond to the call within four rings

·        Email answered within one day

·        Dietary restrictions/requirements inquiries made at time of reservation


     b. Directions/map/GPS coordinates provided

·        Directions must be current, understandable, and accurate.

     c. Confirmations provided

·        Email, phone or letter is acceptable

·        Information provided must be accurate and timely                            


4. Special Interest Items:

In inns where the innkeepers have pets or children, or where the innkeeper or a member of the innkeeper’s family smokes, the following should be checked: 

• Guest and common areas should be free of any odors, and relatively free of any noise associated with any of the three items.

• Electronic and/or printed material should contain information relative to presence and location of any one of the three. E.g. if innkeeper has children, are they kept away from guest and common areas while guests are present?


a. Pet (controlled, odors, residue, info, noise) 

b. Smoking (odors, residue) 

c. Children (controlled, information, noise)

d. Non-smoking Inns

 • Although it has become relatively common for inns to prohibit smoking, it remains an issue that may be at odds with a percentage of the general public. As such, the inn’s policy regarding smoking (whether total or partial) should be clearly and specifically described on both electronic and/or printed material for the inn, as well as at the time reservations are made.


5. Licenses & Insurance (lack of any of these is critical):


     a. State lodging license (5+ rooms) 

Current license required by RSMO 315.011 

     b. Proof of liability insurance (NOT property/casualty ins.) 

May be a rider to homeowner’s policy or part of business policy. $1,000,000 minimumrecommend at least $3,000,000 limit. 

     c. Local licenses (failure to have required licenses is a critical failure)

Includes city or county business license. Not all locations require such licenses.

6. Inn promotes BBIM 

  •  Inn displays BBIM brochures, utilizes new BBIM logo and links to www.bbim.org  (home page or the inn’s page) on its website. Lack of a Link is a major failure. (recurring inspections only)
  •  Inn accepts BBIM gift certificates (recurring inspections only) Critical Failure if inn does not accept them.



Part B: Exterior 


1. Exterior appearance (maintenance & repair, paint, grounds, overall impression).

Consider condition/appearance of paint, carpentry, lawn, outbuildings, parking area, flower beds, etc. Overall impression is a matter of judgment, considering the location, theme and nature of the inn.


2. Signage (provided, condition)                                                    

Has a sign or readily visible house number (where signs restricted)


3. Safety lighting  

Exterior lighting should be sufficient to safely travel between parking area and entrance to inn.  Motion sensor lights are acceptable.

 4. Parking

Adequate parking available, off-street is preferred.


Part C: Interior Common Areas 


1. Appearance (maintenance, carpentry, furniture)

Well-maintained common areas, without significant paint, carpentry or wallpaper problems.  Inspector assigns relative degree for any problems viewed.


2. Cleanliness (dust, dirt, windows)

Essentially free of dust, dirt, spider webs, or insect remains. Windows and sills are clean.  Floors and rugs are clean. Inspector assigns relative degree for any problems viewed.


3. Comfort (lighting, furniture, HVAC, etc.) 

Chairs should be clean & in good repair. Rooms should be kept at comfortable temperature.


Part D: Sleeping Rooms


1. Appearance

• Every aspect of each sleeping room must be well maintained.

• Paint in sleeping rooms should not be chipped, bubbled or peeling.

• Wallpaper in sleeping rooms should be firmly secured to the wall, not peeling off.

2. Cleanliness 

• Sleeping rooms should be free of dust and dirt.

• Windows should be clean and clear.

• There should be no dust, and preferably no items stored under the beds.

• There should be no insect activity present in sleeping rooms, including bedbugs.

3. Linens

• Linens should be clean and of good quality, not threadbare or frayed.

• Blankets should be clean and not appear worn. Even in summer, sleeping rooms should either contain blankets or guests should be told where they may find blankets.

• Comforters, quilts, spreads and shams (if any) should be clean and of good quality, not threadbare or frayed.

• Mattress pad should be clean. 

4. Comfort

• Chairs, sofas, bed and pillows should be comfortable. Pillows should be of various degrees of softness to accommodate the needs of the majority of guests. HVAC should be sufficient to provide comfortable temperatures and operate quietly enough to insure sleep. 

5. Privacy

• Sleeping rooms should be private when the door(s) is closed, with a lock on the door which can only be unlocked from the inside except by the innkeeper.

6. Convenience 

• Sleeping rooms should contain the following convenience items:

·        Closets, wardrobes, chest of drawers, or shelving for the purpose of storing guests’ clothes and other belongings.

·        One nightlight, with power-out capabilities recommended

·        A clock and/or clock/radio, near the bed.

·        A box of facial tissue, near the bed.

·        At least one wastebasket

·        Either a desk or a clear horizontal surface that may be used for writing.

·        A luggage rack which may be folded and stored in closet.

·        Reading lights, preferably greater than 60 watts and on both sides of bed

·        Adequate outlets or power strips


7. Special interest items

a. No host clothes in guest rooms

• There should be no clothing or other items belonging to the innkeeper stored in sleeping rooms.


Part E: Guest Bathrooms

1. Appearance (maintenance, paint, wallpaper, drips) 

Well-maintained without significant paint,  flooring, carpentry or wallpaper problems. Inspector assigns relative degree for any problems viewed. 

2. Cleanliness (floors, fixtures, walls, mirrors) 

Essentially free of dust, dirt, spider webs, insect remains. Windows and sills are clean.

Mirrors, fixtures, walls and floors are clean, free of spots, etc. Inspector assigns relative degree for any problems viewed.

3. Accessories (lights, mirrors, soap, drinking glasses, outlets)             _____ ____ ____ _____

Adequate lighting for shaving or makeup, outlets convenient, soap & other basic amenities provided. 

4. Convenience (nightlight, robe hooks, bathmat, personal space, towel rack, tissue, adequate flat surface for guest toiletries

5. Comfort (water pressure, heat, exhaust fans)

6. Special interest items:

a. Shared bath controls (2 or 3 rooms, privacy locks)

Part F: Kitchen 

 1. Appearance (maintenance, paint, neatness)

• Kitchen should appear well-maintained, including paint and/or wall coverings, and should be neat and relatively free of clutter. 

2. Sanitation (floors, appliances, prep surfaces) 

• Floors, appliances and all food preparation surfaces should be clean and sanitary.

3. Food safety

      a. Approved dishwashing methods 

Requires a dishwasher with heat-boosted rinse or triple sink (or separate basin) for washing, rinsing, and sanitizing; sanitizing uses approved concentration of chlorine bleach solution. (This is not an absolute but the state requires it for health reasons, we should encourage it).

     b. Refrigerator/freezer temperature (under 40 degrees) 

• Temperature of refrigerator storing food to be eaten by guests should be below 40 degrees.  This is a critical failure item if temperature is not below 40 degrees.

c. Food handling

• Innkeeper should be aware of approved food handling methods. The use of silicone gloves while preparing food is preferable.

d. Pets and unauthorized persons do not have access to breakfast food items prior to breakfastfood preparation surfaces, equipment or dishwashers.


Part G: Safety  


1. Smoke alarms (each bedroom, common areas, halls)

 Absolute requirement to have alarm in each sleeping room and on each floor in hallways.

Interconnected hard-wired alarms recommended but not required by BBIM. Inspector will test all accessible alarms. For supervised systems, pre-coordinate test with responding agency.

2. Fire extinguishers (type, reading, each floor)

 Must be type ABC in sleeping levels, type BC or ABC in kitchen. Meter should show in green range and manufactured date should be less than 6 years ago, or proof of recent independent test provided.  Failure to have proper fire extinguishers is a critical failure

3. Carbon Monoxide detectors                                                             

Required if house contains fuel-burning furnaces, appliances or fireplaces or has an attached garage.  This includes gas furnaces, cooktops, fireplace logs. Plug in-type is satisfactory and should be installed fairly low.

4. Escape routes (number, exit signs, lighting) 

There must be an exit (primary or emergency) within 50 feet of each room. Exit signs should be provided except where rooms open directly to the outside; lighted signs are preferred. Power-out lights (which may be plug-in) are highly recommended in rooms and along all escape routes. 

5. Electrical (GFCIs)

Ground Fault Interrupt protection is required for all outlets in bathrooms or near sinks or hot tubs or other places where guests have access to both water and electricity. Protection may be by special GFCI outlets or on circuit breakers. Outlets should be tested to ensure the protection worksWhole property GFCI in the electrical box is acceptable for interior and exterior outlets. Failure to have a working GFCI outlet is a critical failure.

6Extension cords (recommended to not have them in use)

 7. Pools, tubs & spas (chlorine test, GFCI, warnings, condition)

Circuits serving pools, tubs and spas that are not emptied after each use require GFCI protection. Inspector will use test strips to determine if the chlorine or bromine level meets requirements (pH between 7.2 and 7.8). Warnings on length of use for spas and lifeguard warnings for pools should be posted. Pool, spa, etc should appear clean and well-maintained by visual inspection.

Part H: Food & Dining

 1. Breakfast provided (full, continental, cook-your-own)

Cook your own - preparation facilities are adequate and well maintained, clean and uncluttered. All necessary food must be provided. 


(Note: remaining items in this category reviewed during overnight inspection only)


2. Food (quality & quantity)

Food provided is appropriate for breakfast meal, of good quality and sufficient quantity

3. Presentation (attractive, clean dishes, table cleared)

The dining area is clean, uncluttered, well maintained, and well lighted. Dishware is appropriate, entirely clean and free of residue.

4. Guest Services (early coffee, breakfast time flexibility, dietary restrictions honored, snacks available)

5. Special interest items:

Pets and unauthorized personnel controlled during breakfast food preparation and eating


Part I: Hospitality

1. Hosts meet personal hospitality expectations

2. Provides local activity/restaurant information

     (menus, schedules, assistance, maps, brochures)

 3. Inn-based entertainment (reading material, games, (TV, DVD, WiFi, radio, etc)


Part J: Overall Evaluation and Comments. The inspector is to comment on whether he or she would stay at this inn. His or her answer should not be based on the style or décor of the inn, but rather the more serious issues of cleanliness and safety. Other items that may be mentioned include the personality of the innkeeper (friendly, outgoing), the general feeling of the inn (relaxed vs. chaotic); and anything that he or she feels needs specific comments.




 Signature of Inspector __________________________________________Date________________




(1) Inspectors will identify themselves with an official BBIM INSPECTOR business card. 

(2) An aerosol smoke will be used to test smoke detectors as, though the alarms may work with a test button, they may no longer be sensitive to smoke.

 (3) A special plug-in device will be used to test GFCI plugs when they would appear to be connected in series and have only one test button GFCI outlet.

 (4) Test strips will be used to test the chlorine content of pools, hot tubs and spas to insure that the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.8 as required.


The four items above have been approved and required by the board of directors of BBIM to insure the safety and consistency of all inspections by “Outside Inspectors”.


A REMINDER: Please be certain that you have an accurate thermometer in your bed and breakfast refrigerator that is showing a temperature of less than 40 degrees.  The inspectors are not equipped with thermometers and a lack of one available can result in a critical deficiency causing an inspection failure.  Factory LED displays on the refrigerator/freezer are acceptable in lieu of a thermometer.

These requirements are effective with the Board approval of a new (2005) set of inspection forms.


Revised 07/2015 to change fire extinguisher guidelines