Codepal Appreciates Code Compliance Professionals

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Codepal Appreciates Code Compliance Professionals


I wanted to express my personal appreciation as well as our corporate gratitude to all of those we serve in the prevention services. At this holiday time, I am always reminded of the true reason for Christmas which is to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. I believe that the Lord calls each one of us to serve in a capacity that He deems perfect for us. The people that He calls to serve as life and safety monitors for the public deserve our recognition and appreciation.
These professionals often go unnoticed because prevention is such a nebulous thing. The public doesn’t get to see all the safety problems and hazards averted due to the diligence of the municipal, state, and federal enforcement of standards and codes. This industry reminds me of George Bailey in “It’s A Wonderful Life” The only way they would truly get recognized for what they do is by NOT doing all that they do. The consequences of these people not being present would by far exceed anything that George Bailey might claim.
At Codepal the Lord has called us to serve the people who serve the public. Our service is to help compliance professionals have the efficiency necessary to provide notice when people neglect health and safety standards. We do all we can to be responsive to our clients. Our software and service are what they are because we listen to the requirements of compliance professionals across the county and have been doing this for fifteen years. There is no greater thing we could do to recognize all of you than to be responsive to all that you require of us. We consider ourselves blessed to be able to serve in this capacity.
Thank you all for the work that you do. Keep up the good work.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for now and hopes for a blessed year in 2020.

Codepal President
Bob Lee

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Cloud Computing Image

Cloud Computing

Category:Communications,Support,Trends Tags : 

Taking Off – The basics of Cloud Computing

What is the Cloud? The Cloud is a metaphor for the Internet. But, very specific use of the Internet. Cloud computing usually refers to meeting the computing needs of a business, organization, municipality, and governmental entities by way of Internet-based computing.

Internet-based computing is composed of services offered through the Internet. Services like servers, data storage, and applications (software). These services are delivered from the Internet to an organization’s Internet-connected devices.

Utilizing the benefits of the Cloud an I.T. department can remove the burden of equipment purchases, equipment maintenance, data storage, and application maintenance from their workload bypassing the things off to Cloud Computing providers.

A business’s workforce could be completely mobile, relying on the Cloud to provide the applications and their associated data through a simple Internet connection. In a future-thinking way, the meaning of all this to business and government is huge. Think about the IT overhead of a company being drastically reduced or eliminated or the savings we as taxpayers in the USA would realize if most of our Federal and State computing services and data services were Cloud-based.

In this series of articles, I plan to discuss several aspects of Cloud Computing in a succinct manner. I’ll try to keep what I say as understandable as possible with apologies to the non-techy readers who must put up with some unavoidable technical language.

At Codepal we take advantage of many of the services offered through the Cloud. Our Cloud vendor of choice is Microsoft’s Azure. In a future article, I’ll discuss Azure and how Codepal uses it to make your workload easier so you can provide more services and safety to the public.

At the bottom of each article, you will find active links to previous articles and inactive links to upcoming articles. You can use this area as a sort of index to articles about the Cloud.

Future articles will include: Azure Basics, How Codepal Uses the Cloud, Internet of Things, Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and many others – not quite in that order.

I hope this short article has whetted your appetite and you find yourself hungry for more information about the Cloud.

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Chief Fred Hotz

Gaining Compliance through Occupancy Use Permits.

Category:Success Story

On January 1, 2018, the Grand Island Fire Prevention office in Nebraska implemented their new process to issue Occupancy Use Permits with a fee range from $100-$300. I spoke with Fire Prevention Chief Fred Hotz about how the new policy was working for them and the response has been overwhelmingly good.

Chief Fred Hotz
Fire Prevention Chief Fred Hotz

Time for a change

In 2017, the city council approved the change. This assisted the fire prevention office in a problem they were running into during inspections. Buildings were issued occupancy certificates for one occupancy and over time the occupancy would change. Many owners were unaware of the standards for buildings and how the fire inspectors inspected various occupancies, therefore Fred was not notified.

“Storage facilities have posed the largest surprises. Many questioned at first why we needed to inspect these buildings. I explained that the storage of flammable liquids, for example, poses different hazards. These facilities need to be inspected annually. We’re also finding small repair garages and paint booths being set up in these buildings. With this new system, owners are more aware of the need to notify us.” Fred explains.

Occupancy Use Permits created more compliance

With this new policy, Fred is noticing a shift. “With this new fee and permit, we’re getting rapid compliance. Before, it seemed there was no rush.” Fire and Life Safety inspections are to prevent dangers and make the public aware of safety. And his community seems eager to pass inspections and receive the Fire Prevention stamp of approval. “The permit has the expiration date printed on it, so the owner knows when it is time to expect us to return. Many times, they are calling us to schedule it. The flow has been steady.”

However, on the rare occasion, there are legal measures in place when an owner is not compliant. That is not the initial response. “I make multiple attempts via email, phone calls and in person if necessary to help the owner understand the importance of compliance and the ramifications if they do not comply.” The city ordinance was also updated to include the $500 per day violation for non-compliance. The further result could be attorney fees, court fees, fines and in the end, the judge will enforce the compliance.

In the last year and a half, Fred has only seen this happen twice. “It is far and few between”, Fred is happy to report, “We are working with the owners to re-issue the Occupancy Use permits, we’re not working against them. More than not, the community is happy with the changes, even with the fee attached. Business owners are responsible for paying and ensuring they have the correct Occupancy Use Permit.”

Record keeping and financials

The Division is cleaning up their records and attaching the correct occupancy use to each building. But that isn’t the only part that changes with this sort of policy. Fred originally did not plan on being responsible for fee collection. However, after looking into several options, he ultimately decided it was best for him to take on the responsibility. “I had no way to know if a fee had been paid and when to issue a permit. This was just easier in Codepal to issue the fee, create the invoice and track it from there. Now the checks come into our office and the permit is issued.”

“With the fees collected, we’re able to justify the addition of two inspectors in the Fire Prevention office. With the additional staff, we’re able to be more productive, which attributes to more compliance and makes our community safer.” On average, the cost is $100 per property where the triennial inspection can be completed in under 2 hours. For target hazards (yearly), 12000 sq ft or larger, $200. If the inspection is over 3 hours, $300. Fred works with owners when there are multiple buildings on one property. He’ll combine them into one inspection to save the owner.

Overall, I know Fred well enough to say, he’s not making these changes to accomplish anything other than what is best for his community. Thank you, Fred, for taking a moment to share your progress with us and our Codepal community.