Remote Video Inspections Becoming More Prevalent

Originally published by: Facility ExecutiveJuly 6, 2020

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Editor’s Note: The inforgraphic in the article below highlights the key elements to address when implementing any form of remote video inspection (RVI). This approach to RVIs is already being used in the component manufacturing industry through SBCRI’s Third-Party Quality Assurance Program. It will also have an impact on CMs as this becomes more prevelant in jobsite inspections by building officials.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has released a new infographic emphasizing five key considerations for Remote Video Inspection (RVI) programs: procedures, communication, technology, verification, and completion. The new graphic is being shared just as code officials, enforcers, and inspectors prepare to re-open occupancies and encounter even bigger inspection backlogs than usual given COVID-19 shutdowns.

Until recently, use of RVI was limited and sporadic. The current pandemic and remote work conditions combined with a normally extensive workload have thrust RVI into the minds of authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ) everywhere. RVI provides an effective alternative means for building inspection, enabling one or more parties to remotely perform an inspection of a building or building component. The new graphic reinforces RVI program elements and points stakeholders to relevant RVI resources so that AHJs can efficiently address inspections during the pandemic, prepare buildings for post-government shutdowns, and manage unrealistic workloads in the long run.

Just like traditional on-site or in person inspections, an RVI typically occurs as part of a jurisdiction’s permitting process, project, or contract schedule, and needs to be approved by the AHJ for that area. Remote inspection can help accomplish critical and emergency permit work. Virtual inspections are not intended to be less complete than an on-site inspection; they are meant to achieve the same (or enhanced) results as an on-site inspection. RVI is currently in use in select jurisdictions across the United States.