Limitations for inspectors
A survey conducted by the International Code Council (ICC) on how jurisdictions throughout the U.S. are keeping up with inspections, new building permits, and new construction aims to provide a snapshot of code compliance during the pandemic. This survey was conducted from March 22nd, 2020 through April 1st, 2020. There were 1,500 respondents from 50 states. The findings solidified the concerns over hindrances for those working in the fire protection industry.
While safety measures like social distancing and business closures are enforced for our safety, these measures also create certain challenges for fire protection techs and inspectors.
The findings were as follows:
- 6 in 10 did not have the capability to remotely carry out critical aspects of their work
- 93 percent of the departments surveyed are still performing inspections; either remotely or in-person
- 65 percent reported that some or all employees that conduct plan review/inspections are working remotely
- 66 percent use a combination of electronic and hard copy versions of building safety codes; 7 percent use only electronic; 27 percent use only hard copies
The capacity for these fire protection companies to go virtual is a major hindrance. These hindrances include:
- 40 percent don’t have the capability to do electronic plan reviews
- 30 percent don’t have the capability to do any aspect of electronic/remote permitting
- 61 percent don’t have the capability for electronic/remote inspections
The bottom line is, that in order for inspections and code enforcement to proceed as needed during this pandemic, fire protection companies need time and resources to adapt. Inspections are critical to defend against fire, vandalism, and more. These aren’t services that can be put off for months.