Depending on others to effectively do your job defines a manager’s role. But when the “others” are not your employees or direct reports, the situation takes on a whole new dimension. That in a nutshell describes the dilemma and an important aspect of the job that fire marshal’s must manage today.
AHJ’s, and specifically fire marshals, are responsible for public safety through code and ordinance enforcement. For example, it begins during the initial design and installation phases of Sprinkler and Suppression systems where AHJ’s have responsibility for the review and acceptance –and it continues throughout the life of the systems. Beyond installation, AHJ’s depend on feedback from contractors regarding maintenance and test results of the operational systems to determine if they continue to perform in compliance with mandated safety codes. AHJ’s have the authority to require contractors to submit reports – but have little or no control over the method or timely transmittal of that information.
You can imagine the AHJ’s administrative challenge in receiving a continuous stream of paperwork in various forms from numerous contractors, then sifting through the forms to determine if action is required. If a critical deficiency is found, the time delay between the actual discovery by the technician and the resulting action by the fire marshal could be the difference between preventing or explaining a life threatening event.
The contractor’s primary responsibility, on the other hand, is to his customer, the building owner or tenant, for the continued proper operation of the sprinkler, suppression and alarm systems through periodic maintenance, repair, and testing—he is also required to forward test results, and/or other requested information to the AHJ.
The MobileEyes Contractor Portal is a web-based software application that addresses the problem by serving as a simple communications conduit between the parties. It establishes a standard format for information gathering and delivery from the contractor to the AHJ. It automatically highlights and categorizes deficiencies, associates deficiency severity levels with notification and response preferences, schedules inspections, and initiates other necessary actions. For AHJ’s, the paperwork quagmire is eliminated with an automated process that greatly reduces reaction time and prevents the possibility of looming problems slipping through the cracks. For the contractor, drop-down menus and pre-populated options speed up the communication process reducing the distraction from performing core inspection and support activities.
Needless to say, this solution offers a huge win/win potential as the AHJ’s benefit through increased insight and control with greatly reduced time invested and increased assurance that periodic inspections are conducted for all structure in the jurisdiction, while ensuring prompt follow-up when code violations are discovered. On the flip side, more coordinated oversight benefits the contractors as enforcement actions by the AHJs will result in increased service and repair revenue.
In addition to the mutual value generated, the cost of implementation and usage of the MobileEyes Contractor Portal system is minimal—less than half the cost of other products on the market today! Better, faster, and truly cheaper—what’s not to love?