Protection and preventive measures against fire is basic protection for any building or premises. Fire can break out even in buildings where no hazardous materials are stored, and the consequences can be total devastation.
Fire prevention and Fire protection are often used alternatively, but there are significant differences between the two terminologies. Fire prevention is pre-empting fire and related hazards. It includes all steps taken to prevent fire and fire-related hazards from breaking out in the first place. In contrast, fire protection offers effective safeguards and fire fighting capabilities to prevent damage if a fire hazard does come to pass. Fire protection may be active, by deploying fire fighting methods, or even passive, by integrating fire protection in the building construction and interior set-up. Effective safeguard against fire requires a due attention to both these approaches.
An effective fire safety software solution can ensure these tasks are regulated and carried out efficiently. Here’s how ReachOut can enable effective fire prevention.
Related Reading: Read on to learn more about how a field service management software can help improve efficiency in the fire and safety industry.
The basic requirement for fire protection and fire prevention is equipment such as sprinklers, pumps, fire extinguishers, water, and hose. A fire protection suite like ReachOut helps keep track of the inventory of essential chemicals and safety tools, and to issues, timely alerts when stock runs low or are on the verge of expiry is a basic step for systematic and effective protection against fire.
Fire prevention requires a series of preventive steps, the most essential of which is an inspection or audit.
For both fire prevention and fire protection, regular inspections and audits are the norms. Inspections and audits help to identify and fix vulnerable areas in the facility. Some of the most common vulnerabilities in any premises are improperly maintained systems, overloaded electrical outlets, improperly stored materials, loose contacts, eroded insulations, and more. Such faults can be innocuous and be triggered at any time, owing to a multitude of reasons. Regular, thorough inspections are required to nip such risks in the bud.
Likewise, inspections ensure all active freighting deployments and measures, such as sprinklers, fire alarms, fire pumps, and extinguishers are working properly, and are in place to be activated at a moment’s notice. For instance, fire sprinklers work when the high heat triggers the sprinkler system. For the sprinkler to work, the sensor system to sense the heat should be working properly, and there should be water in reserve always. Likewise, fire extinguishers have to be refilled at regular intervals, for it to work properly at the time of need.
A fire protection suite like ReachOut includes mobile inspection component, to make the inspection and audit much more effective. A well-designed suite offers all the relevant plans and drawings, the recommended safety standard for each installation, and a checklist where the inspector can tick all compliances, and capture violations. It also offers a schedule of periodic maintenance and refills due on fire extinguishers and other fire fighting equipment. There may also be an option to check the efficacy of passive fire protection methods, such as whether the insulations are in place, whether goods are stored in a safe way, and more.
The nature and periodicity of the inspections vary, depending on the nature of the installations in the premises and the nature of available manpower. A good inspection suite is always flexible to make changes according to business needs, rather than expecting the business to adjust their systems and procedures to the rigidity of the software.
The importance of human effort in fire prevention and protection can never be understated.
An important component of the inspection suite is manpower allocation and scheduling. A field service software like ReachOut is comprehensive and co-opts not just a checklist of things to be inspected and reference of technical matters, but also allows specific inspection schedules for available personnel. The supervisor could keep track of the inspections being conducted through a supervisor’s app.
The latest and state-for-the-art inspection suite can also co-opt collaborative features for inspectors to get in touch with customers and supervisors in real time. Many firefighting components involve complex systems, the inspection of which require skilled professionals. Modern inspection suite with collaborative features, including video collaboration would enable a skilled technician to conduct the inspection from afar.
Inspections and audits are exercises in futility unless followed up for timely action.
An effective field management suite makes follow-up easy, automating much of the task. With the ReachOut mobile app, one could capture not just textual data, but also images and videos, and transmit it to the relevant stakeholders for the necessary follow-up action. An inspection or audit, auto generates the inspection report, generate a to-do list and send it on to the responsible personnel, issues, and timely reminders and follow-ups. The suite may also place an order for the necessary refills for fire extinguishers and other refills, again, automating all the relevant paperwork and follow up procedures.
Most businesses, especially ones having fire hazards invariably have regulatory compliance obligations. A field management software like ReachOut also doubles up as the perfect tool to ensure such compliance. The checklist of inspections can include the compliance requirements, and reports may be auto-populated and generated according to the required format and scheduled. The suite would also send timely reminders on key filings or obligations as per the compliance requirement, to the responsible employee or stakeholders.
The best suite is one that can be accessed everywhere, even through a smartphone. The relevant stakeholders would have a relevant app. For instance, inspectors would have an app featuring checklists and access to technical resources to get the job done. The supervisor’s app would have an overview of all the inspections to be done, the scheduling of inspectors, and other relevant details. The customer-facing app may update the customer with regards to the inspections being carried out, on a real-time basis.
Regardless of the features and functionality of a suite, effective depends on how well it is designed, and how well it is customized to meet the specific requirements of the enterprise. It is always a smart move to forge a partnership with a software provider who can give continuous assistance with changing needs and upcoming technologies. With ReachOut, we make achieving deadlines and managing complex activities simpler. Contact us today to know more about how ReachOut can help you attain better business results.