With over 300 care homes operating in Glendale, the fire department’s Fire Prevention division has created a virtual option for owners to have their annual inspection, according to a release.
All care home, assisted living and nursing home facilities require inspections annually to keep their license current.
“As we all know these types of facilities have been overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients,” the Glendale Fire Department stated. “Fire Prevention recognized the risks for both inspectors and residents. So back in March they developed a virtual inspection option. This keeps everyone safer and lessens exposures while still getting the inspections completed on time.”
In-person inspections typically take 30-45 minutes. However, with the virtual inspections, they have cut the time to 10-15 minutes, the release states. Inspectors send a list of necessary items to the facility prior to their scheduled time which helps the owner be more prepared. The inspector will then reach out to them via Facetime or Skype. The owner then produces documents for the inspector and walks them around the facility to allow the inspector to see everything in real time.
Inspections are not done to be punitive but rather to educate and improve the safety of the facility, the release states. Items such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms and smoke detectors are verified to be in good operating order. Inspectors will also examine sprinkler system, approve signage and ensure exit plans are properly displayed. With a myriad of items to inspect preparation is key.
To date, less than 20 facilities have taken part in the program, but inspectors are hoping by spreading the word more will participate, the release states. Fire Prevention is currently allowing 30-day extensions for those who are close to their expiration date. However, due to the large number of facilities in Glendale, they are encouraging owners to schedule their inspections well before their expiration date.
If facilities are in need of an inspection, they can request one by calling 623 930-3626.