BOLIVIA, NC (WECT) - Remote video inspections in Brunswick County have been expanded to include more residential services, according to a release sent Monday evening.
The county became the first in North Carolina to offer Remote Video Inspections, or RVIs, in late 2018.
RVIs initially were for residential mechanical change-out inspections, such as replacing an HVAC heating and air conditioning unit.
The service now includes other simple types of inspections, such as gas or water piping outside the home.
The service has potential to expand as it’s used more and further assessments and evaluations are made, according to Code Administration Director Michael Slate.
A contractor can use video conferencing and video messaging to call an inspector in the Brunswick County Code Administration office and walk the inspector through the job site, without the inspector physically being on the premises.
The inspection begins at the front of the house so the house and address numbers can be verified.
The inspection then proceeds as if the inspector were there.
Periodic quality control checks will help ensure the program is running as expected and help county officials evaluate its expansion to other types of inspections.
The technology allows inspectors to provide a better and faster service to contractors and homeowners while using taxpayer funding more efficiently, according to Slate.
“This is going to be a huge cost savings, not only for the county but also for the public and contractors,” Slate said. “We’re starting small, with just change-out inspections, and as we grow into this we hope to move toward other inspections that we can safely do from a remote standpoint.”
A contractor could have a unit inspected as soon as it’s installed, without having to wait on an inspector to come back at a later date.
If the inspection fails, the contractor can fix the problem and request another RVI, cutting out two or three additional trips in the process.
RVIs can also come in handy for a quick turnaround when weather is a concern.
For instance, a contractor can fix a pipe outside of a home in the winter and call for an RVI to avoid having to leave the pipe exposed in freezing temperatures or other weather.
Inspectors will also spend less time driving to locations, meaning more can be done in a day and less county resources will be spent on gas and travel expenses.