As Australia reels from the scathing bushfires, it’s important to recognise and evaluate how fire inspection and prevention can be improved. There is no better way to prepare for and prevent things in the future than to evaluate what is important to do before things happen. This means having a thorough and up to date routine fire inspection and testing in line with industry regulations. In Australia this follows the Australian Standards system, building off the Industrial Organization for Standards (ISO). The Australian Standards AS1851 requires scheduled maintenance and inspection for all fire safety equipment and systems. Such inspections can vary depending on the building or facility application, which naturally requires both a customisable and adaptable inspection solution and method.
Digital inspection solutions provide the best system to carry out a comprehensive fire inspection and testing. Via a paperless inspection platform, inspection officers and field personnel can monitor and check fire prevention materials, warning methods or fire handling systems such as hydrants or extinguishers. To assist inspection, employees can use features of mobile devices such as the camera to scan barcodes/RFID or take pictures of assets and equipment. These pictures can then be annotated to highlight problems or issues or to make notes for following inspectors. Some equipment such as smoke alarms or fire hydrants have specific operating instructions which normally requires a manual. Luckily for paperless inspection, this can be in the form of a pdf or other attachment fixed to a checklist or checklist part.
Inspectors can also take advantage of a host of features on smartphones and tablets such as offline recording, standardised response checklists or automatically suggested corrective actions. Such prompted helps can be set up by management level to speed up the process after a fault is discovered and recorded. This means that certain equipment can be kept in use longer whilst still fulfilling their intended use and keeping in line with standards. Without having to compromise on safety, assets to prevent fire can be monitored and replaced easier and quicker if needed, and fixed quicker if that is the preferred course of action. Paperless inspection applications can also integrate thing such as automatic GPS timestamps to add further detail to inspection reports, or speech-to-text services for an additional input method. For fire prevention materials, it can be beneficial to track the wear and condition and so the deficiency life cycle provided via digital inspection is highly useful. The insightful tracking of any asset or equipment and in this case fire prevention material, gives ROI analysis and a simplified safety audit trail. Alongside such features for the inspector, paperless inspection solutions often also contain proactive triggers and notifications which can keep all necessary personnel in the loop of all inspection notices, protection updates or fire prevention reports.