August 03, 2021
Cumberland County’s Planning and Inspection Department inspectors can now remotely perform subsequent building inspections from their desks.
With approval from the North Carolina Code Officials Qualification Board, Remote video inspections (RVIs) can be performed through video chat software. The process allows for faster inspections or reviews for building inspectors and contractors if requested and approved. Remote options are only available if the inspector has already been to the construction site and knows the object.
Remote inspections are subject to the same fee rates as personal inspections. RVIs are intended only for inspectors to follow up on breaches of sewer and water, plumbing, mechanics, and buildings. All electrical inspections are carried out in person. Inspectors can also visit in person if so desired. If there is a weak signal or an inspector cannot see the contractor’s video, the inspectors have the right to end the video conference and appear in person.
In remote inspections, inspectors perform the same tasks they would in person, such as confirming that permits are consistent with their records and reviewing issues that lead to the follow-up inspection. The inspectors also conduct audits on all construction projects under RVIs to ensure the buildings are safe and secure in order to reach the final stages of completion.
“Our inspectors will be auditing construction projects after a few video inspections,” said Michael Naylor, Chief Building Official. “It lets the contractors know that we’re not just relying on videos and still going to the website for confirmation.”
Set up RVIs
To set up an RVI, the contractor must:
- Have all the necessary tools and documents ready
- Have a smartphone or tablet with a camera and microphone
- Allow up to 30 minutes for the inspection
- Attend a video conference meeting at the scheduled time
- Let the controller see the front of the house and the address
- Go to the inspection site and follow the inspector’s instructions, starting at the front of the building
Remote video inspections are recorded, stored in the electronic planning and inspection system, and the RVI is attached to the building permit.
“The remote option gives inspectors more time to inspect on-site locations while they can go to the car and do another follow-up inspection via video call,” said Naylor.
To read the full policy and procedure document for remote video inspections, visit the Planning and Inspections department page.
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