Fire Safety Goes High Tech


The Fire Marshal’s office has found a way to become more efficient when completing fire safety and food safety related reports out in the field. The building inspection process has always required an individual who was inspecting a building to take handwritten notes in the field, later translate those notes in the office, type the notes into a report, and send out the completed report. The long arduous process will take place no more.

Deputy Fire Marshal’s Lance Wilson and Chris McDonald found a way to streamline that process by developing an inspection program utilizing Sharepoint and Microsoft Access. This inspection program reduced the time in the field and the typing of the report, but the process still required handwritten notes to be taken and translated.

So Lance and Chris decided to take it to the next level. They created a way to use the iPad for inspections. Now instead of taking handwritten notes, the violations are entered directly into the iPad which also eliminates the note translation step from the process.

This process has dramatically streamlined the route and also produces a more professional looking report. The results are significant with as much as 25 percent time savings on each inspection. The more professional-looking end product, which can be e-mailed directly to the department from the iPad, has really saved the department time and money. Going green is important to the Department of Public Safety and this new implementation eliminates the use of paper completely!

This program has been so successful for the building inspections that Fire Marshal Bob Bowden has implemented it into the food safety program. “Our department is very fortunate to have employees who are inventive, resourceful and technologically savvy,” commented Bowden on the innovation of his staff.