Building and Fire Suppression System Inspectors

As a service technician and consultant, having access to drawings, IOMs, codes, etc., for fire pump controllers and engine troubleshooting located on a tablet PC can be a great way to carry everything with you in one small package. Complex Excel formulas are great for engineering calculations and easier to view and display on a tablet PC. Hands-free inspections, safety and service form filling is a huge plus with speech recognition.

I’d highly recommend this to sprinkler groups and other similar inspections and risk analysis groups with people on the move constantly.

Fire pump
No place for a backpack

This front carry-all is an extremely versatile unit compared to a backpack or briefcase for people who are constantly on the move and repeatedly accessing their notebook or tablet PC. A briefcase ties up one hand and backpacks have to be removed, set on something and put back on.

Inspectors are constantly crawling over, under and through various objects to get to something for notes, drawings, data entry on forms, photos etc. especially in mechanical and pump rooms. Bulky backpacks hang up on piping etc. and it’s easy to drop a computer, tablet case or briefcase crawling around through some of these.

Here are examples of some of the installations myself and several people work on. You can see many of them have standing water on the floor. That is no place for a backpack or briefcase on the floor and there is not always something close to set either safely on top of. These fire pump control panels, engines and pumps are inspected per NFPA 25 every year, many on special forms that most people now use tablet PCs for. In addition several of these older controllers, and similar pumping equipment, require full  Windows software-compatible download managers to connect to with a notebook or bulky laptop.

Hopping from room-to-room and equipment-to-equipment on inspections like fire alarms and sprinkler systems throughout an entire building or plant requires frequent access to a tablet or notebook for data entry.  Since time is money, I can personally see from experience where this could save a lot of both. I’d highly recommend this to sprinkler groups and other similar inspections and risk analysis groups with people on the move constantly.  A lot of service and commissioning people can use them also. They will accommodate most 10” tablet PCs or 10” notebook computers with most carrying cases. The pack’s harness provides additional carrying capability of pouches and holsters designed to be carried on a 1-1/2″ belt.  Both the belts on the side panels and on the back can serve as attachment points. The pack cost $129.00, a new iPad, or equal runs, around $500.00 (plus potential lost information) if you drop it, drop something on it or it gets hit with water laying down somewhere to free up your hands for something else.

OSHA safety compliance affects everyone. Apps like those from Endure are becoming increasingly popular with tablet PCs for field compliance and audits.

The Tablet Protection Chest Pack from Tablet-EX-Gear provides rock solid protection to tablet computers and computer data into the field. Available in red, gray and fluorescent orange.

by Mike Trumbature, Houston, Texas

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