• Posted On: February 20, 2015

Fire safety is something every community is concerned about. In cities with an aging architecture, dealing with designs of the past can provide some challenges, especially when it comes to building inspection issues that crop up quite frequently.

Portland, a city with a rich history, has landlords and tenants who are concerned with fire safety and want to do something about it. Specifically, landlords want the city to do a better job enforcing an ordinance that requires tenants to be held accountable for their smoke detectors.

For instance, landlords that have connected smoke alarms in their structures and registered them with the city are concerned with tenants who are turning off the systems. On the flip side, tenants want the city to do more to make landlords respond at a more consistent rate to their concerns. Tenants who call the city for an inspection of their property are upset that when the landlord can’t be reached, an inspection is never scheduled.

Every time a fire takes the life of a tenant, or in the most highly visible cases, numerous tenants, the issue gets brought up in city council and county commission meetings. Ordinances get a fresh look and problems are addressed. Unfortunately, unless there is a proper workflow process at the departmental level, all the talk fades without anything done about the concerns.

What can help the building inspection issues that cities are seeing is a more finely tuned workflow process that involves cloud-based technology and mobile management. For instance, when an inspector heads out to handle a case, they should have all the information they need, digitized and in front of them on their mobile device. For city’s that get backed up with cases, this is rarely what they have in their hands.

Building inspection officers should have a checklist of items they can go through, also on their mobile device. They should be able to open new cases, close old ones, schedule follow-ups for properties that need further review, print reports and send GIS information back to city hall or the courthouse. Furthermore, all records should be automated and made available in the appropriate fashion so that they can be submitted to the courts, when necessary. The right building inspection software will provide all of this.

In some cases, multiple fires have occurred at the same structure over the years, possibly decades. With the right software, inspectors will be able to pull up case histories and red flag ongoing issues with structures.

Comcate has developed a software solution that puts the power of automation in the hands of inspectors while they’re out in the field. Instead of making frequent stops at the office between cases, everything can be completed in the field, giving them more time to get to cases and less time racking up miles. For more information about how Comcate’s solutions can save your community time and money, and perhaps lives, contact us today.

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