At the beginning of the 21st Century, most fire departments gathered inspection and prevention data using clipboards and pens. The paper files were usually warehoused in four drawer steel cabinets and were only occasionally reviewed as necessary to complete an incident or other report. To complete a report cataloguing what fire prevention activities were relevant and were producing expected outcomes was a tedious and arduous task.
Today, fire departments rely on mobile computers to gather the data and paper file storage is becoming far less important. The task of creating reports has changed from shuffling paper files to looking at the data to discover what practices are producing the expected results and improving processes.
Years ago, it was nearly impossible to discover anomalies such as which buildings and types of occupancies were not inspected in at least a year; or any other time frame. Asking the same question of digital data today, the user can quickly discover this information with a few clicks of a mouse. The software will reveal which code violations are the most common which can help define fire prevention activities and information to help keep the community fire safe. The digital data can be “measured” and the department can be better managed.
This is especially relevant for fire prevention and fire pre-planning. Departments are beginning to provide more resources for public education and prevention tasks. Purchasing fire fighting apparatus provides a tangible result while the results from prevention activities are less clear. It is important to show a relationship between fire prevention and the incidence of fire. Being able to easily mine inspection data will help discover best practices that will reduce the number of fires.
One Step works with many departments who conduct engine company inspections. These types of inspections can identify serious code violations. By coding business rules and notification routines, these violations are referred to fire inspectors and division chiefs for further action. Administrators can mine the data to quickly see occupancies and addresses to follow up resulting from engine company inspections.
Inspection data can be aggregated to show trends and patterns not previously possible. Aggregate data will show what are the most common code violations found in specific types of occupancies. Departments can then formulate inspection checklists to guide the inspector when completing an inspection.
One Step has years of experience programming business rules to help departments improve their processes. By listening carefully to what departments tell us, we note potential areas of improvement and work with them to help make their community fire safe.