NFPA offers resources for conducting remote video inspections when access to buildings is limited

April 1, 2020 – As code officials, enforcers, and inspectors work to ensure building safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has created a fact sheet that provides guidance on how to conduct a remote video inspection (RVI), enabling one or more parties to remotely perform an inspection of a building or building component.

“We need to be as creative and forward-thinking as possible to ensure that communities remain adequately protected from fire and other emergencies,” said Kevin Carr, senior fire protection specialist at NFPA. “While RVI is new to many, it can represent an effective alternative to an on-site inspection. We encourage jurisdictions to review this guidance to become more familiar with the benefits and limitations of RVI.”

Carr said RVI is currently in use in select jurisdictions across the US, although no formal standard governs its use. These jurisdictions often utilize everyday smartphone technologies to facilitate the inspection.

Just like traditional on-site or in person inspections, an RVI is typically associated within a jurisdiction’s permitting process, the project, or contract schedule, and needs to be approved by the authority having jurisdiction (AHJ). Remote inspection may be able to accomplish critical and emergency permit work that is still underway. It is not intended to be less complete than an on-site inspection and can be employed to achieve the same (or enhanced) results as an on-site inspection.

NFPA’s new RVI fact sheet, which provides guidance on how to effectively conduct a remote inspection, is based on “Conducting Remote Video Inspections,” a white paper developed by NFPA’s Building Code Development Committee (BCDC). Considerations addressed in the document include setting clear expectations, selecting technology, location verification and signoffs/follow-up.

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 epidemic, NFPA provides key resources and information that address emergency planning, building, fire and life safety issues.

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global self-funded nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information, visit www.nfpa.org. All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at www.nfpa.org/freeaccess.

Contact: Lorraine CarliPublic Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275