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5 Most Common Building Inspection Issues & How BirdDog Resolves Them

5 Most Common Building Inspection Issues & How BirdDog Resolves Them

When you query the BirdDog Mobile Inspection System about the most common building inspection issues, the answers are based on results gleaned from thousands of inspections. Regardless of the specifics of these most common building inspection issues that surface during the inspections process, BirdDog handles these deficiencies effectively, efficiently, and quickly.

Another advantage of BirdDog’s advanced deficiency management function is that BirdDog provides a code reference for every deficiency in the “report questions & deficiency” sections. By adding this information, fire-life safety contractors can help property owners understand that the deficiency is because of not complying with code. BirdDog’s Deficiency Management module also helps fire-life safety contractors avoid liability because deficiencies are only listed if there’s a code reference for it.

What Are The 5 Most Common Building Inspection Issues?

Here’s a look at the 5 key inspection deficiencies that crop up again and again, based on a review of the results of thousands of inspections performed using the BirdDog Mobile Inspection System.

Common Inspection Deficiency 1: Valve Gauges

  • Gauges on valve, when compared to calibrated gauge, is error less than 3% full or gauge has been re-calibrated or replaced.
  • Code Reference: NFPA-25 13.2.7.3

One of the most common deficiencies is found with water pressure gauges. Field inspectors need to inspect and ensure that the water pressure is within the specification for that facility to make sure enough water can distributed quickly enough to quell a fire. NFPA 25 code mandates that these gauges are visually inspected every year, and are either tested or replaced after 5 years.

  • How Does BirdDog Handle This? – BirdDog is one of the most powerful, configurable inspection systems on the market today. BirdDog’s capabilities for inspecting water pressure gauges include a detailed roster of questions related to gauge performance. Is the glass intact? Is the water pressure within 3% of the specifications? Questions also are automatically asked based on required frequency of inspection: monthly, quarterly, yearly, or every five years.

Common Inspection Deficiency 2: Internal Pipe Exam

  • System free of evidence of foreign organic and inorganic material needing to be removed by …
  • Code Reference: NFPA-25 14.2.1

Common sense dictates that if a pipe is clogged, it can’t disperse water adequately to put out a fire. This inspection item involves looking for obstructions that would prevent a pipe from delivering an appropriate amount of water. Many property owners do not want to pay for inspectors to open up pipes and visually inspect for clogs. One efficient way to assess this is to inspect the drain to see if it’s dirty or has captured debris.

  • How Does BirdDog Handle This? – When inspectors actually perform this test, BirdDog allows inspectors to take pictures to validate if the piping is clogged or clear. This is then potentially logged as a deficiency which can be presented to the customer. The ability to attach a photo also provides peace of mind for property owners seeking proof that a drain actually is clogged.

Common Inspection Deficiency 3: Valve Identification & Access

  • Valve has proper signs, and is accessible.
  • Code Reference: NFPA-25 13.3.2.2

It is incredibly common to find that water shut-off control valves are either not properly identified with signage, or they’re not easily accessible. When a sprinkler system fires up when there’s no fire, it can cost property owners and insurance companies heavy losses. The longer water runs, the more damage is done. When sprinkler systems start distributing water when there’s no fire, facility managers need to find water shut-off valves to shut off water as quickly as possible. However, if signage is missing, or the control valve can’t be easily reached, more damage occurs.

  • How Does BirdDog Handle This? – BirdDog has specific questions that help prevent water damage. Questions within a BirdDog inspection form will ask: Are the control valves properly identified with a sign? Are control valves accessible? If the answer is “no,” BirdDog can identify this as a deficiency. A new BirdDog feature also includes information about what’s needed to resolve the deficiency. Field techs can fill in the information about what’s needed, such as: “Need 12-foot ladder to service this valve.” This practical, logistical information helps the office staff more accurately estimate a repair quote, and ensures speed & efficiency in the actual process of fixing the problem.

Common Inspection Deficiency 4: Alarm Batteries

  • Visual condition of batteries.
  • Code Reference: NFPA-72 4.3.1

Batteries that have gone south are one of the biggest deficiencies found in the inspection of alarm systems. Various deficiencies include: corrosion, or an indicator that the “Battery is low.”

  • How Does BirdDog Handle This? – The BirdDog inspection system asks a series of questions to identify any problems with alarm system batteries. When the inspection is completed, BirdDog creates a deficiency report that includes a description of the problem, the actual code reference, and photos that prove the condition of the batteries. The benefit to contractors is that the information & images prove the contractor actually performed the inspection. The benefit to property owners and/or facility managers is that they have proof that a deficiency actually exists.

Common Inspection Deficiency 5: Sprinkler Head Condition

  • Sprinkler heads appear free of corrosion, foreign material, paint or damage, no signs of leakage and heads/deflectors installed in proper orientation.
  • Code Reference: NFPA-25 5.2.1.1.1

Sprinkler head condition can dictate whether a manufacturer will honor a warranty…or not. Given that there are many possible conditions of a sprinkler head, it’s critically important that an inspection be able to hone in and describe the specific problem associated with sprinkler heads.

  • How Does BirdDog Handle This? – BirdDog offers a powerful, three-level question process that drills down to clarify the exact problem. The three levels of information BirdDog will cover include: 1) Is there a problem; 2) Sprinkler head condition (painted head, corroded head, or leaking head); and 3) Sprinkler head locations. BirdDog then will automatically create a list of sprinkler head deficiencies by category. This allows contractors to more accurately estimate and repair problematic sprinkler heads. It also allows in-house facility departments to more quickly locate sprinkler heads which need to be replaced. A picture of the sprinkler head with a deficiency also can be captured and added to the inspection.

These are the top 5 common building inspection issues based on thousands of inspections performed through the BirdDog system. As BirdDog helps fire-life safety contractors and in-house facility departments identify deficiencies and report them back to the customer, it creates a host of benefits, including:

  • Helps ensure that warranties are valid
  • Streamlines the process of addressing deficiencies, which mitigates liability for property owners and improves safety.
  • Makes the process of fixing deficiencies more efficient & faster for contractors, allowing contractors to generate more service revenue & bill faster for the services.

Interested in reducing risk, improving safety & addressing deficiencies faster? Schedule a Demo of the BirdDog Mobile Inspection & Data Collection System today!