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Mobilizer 03.21.07

North Carolina County Completes More Fire Inspections with Software from Mobile Eyes

A 225 square-mile county in North Carolina is using software from Mobile Eyes to complete more state-mandated fire inspections and enhance customer service. By using the software to electronically maintain records and keep track of jobs, fire inspectors have been able to work more efficiently, completing nine school inspections in two weeks.

Lee County Fire Marshal Derrick Clouston said the Mobile Eyes software has enabled his inspection team to work smarter: members can access the software through the Internet, eliminating the need to record information twice (by hand out in the field and electronically in the office). They also can integrate the information with their own records management system.

The software runs on a tablet PC and includes handwriting recognition capabilities that make note-taking as easy as writing on a yellow pad.

"Many of these industries are constantly updating and renovating their facilities," said Clouston. "The MobileEyes software is adaptable to all types of occupancies including commercial, residential, industrial and municipal."

Clouston and two part-time staff are responsible for all building and fire inspections in Lee County, one of the most highly industrialized counties in North Carolina. State law requires that public schools be inspected twice a year.

"Our goal in developing MobileEyes was to help fire inspectors focus on what they do best - prevent fires and save lives by identifying and correcting unsafe building conditions," said TradeMaster VP Tom Gorman. TradeMaster developed the MobileEyes software system.

Clouston said the system provides a good opportunity for improving customer service, particularly with property owners who are eager to know the status of their building plans.

"When someone brings their plans in, our administrator can log the information directly into the system," said Clouston. "We can easily check on the status for them."

In the future, Clouston hopes to have a link from the department's website which will give property owners, contractors and others the ability to securely access their own information via the Internet.

From the initial plan review to the construction inspection, certificate of occupancy form and tracking of follow-up inspections, everything is contained within the streamlined system.

Another component of the MobileEyes system purchased by Lee County is called Responder which allows firefighters, many of whom are volunteers, to quickly obtain valuable information about the building's construction at the scene of a fire or incident.