By Ted AYALA
The Glendale Fire Dept. (GFD) will soon be getting a little tech savvier in their future fire code inspections.
Glendale City Council – with Councilmember Laura Friedman away – approved a plan that would allow fire code inspectors to use iPad technology to input and process the results of their inspections.
According to a GFD representative, the decision to incorporate the use of tablets will allow them to register all their information on-site with the business owner present. The new method will save inspectors the trouble of “double work” by having to input a field report, then submitting another report again at their home fire station.
“One of our goals was to do mobile inspections,” said GFD chief Harold Scoggins. “That was real important to us. This would create more efficiencies for our firefighters out in the field.”
Scoggins demonstrated some of the advantages of using iPads, including being able to summon up records from prior inspections in a particular fire company. Inspectors could use such capabilities to pull up on the fly any site’s prior violations, ensuring that they have been resolved and to remain vigilant for any other potential problems.
The technology would also allow the owner of the residence or business being inspected to instantly obtain a copy of the inspector’s report. The report would be sent to the owner via e-mail.
“It also makes it easier to keep track of the data,” added the chief. “[GFD administration] can pull up the information at a glance so we can keep track.”
Scoggins also clarified for the Council that inspections are part of the regular duties of the GFD. They do not require overtime payment.
“It’s going to take a lot less time than the old way,” said Mayor Dave Weaver of the new inspection record keeping method. “It’s going to be great to have. We’re getting closer to a paperless society.”