Case Studies / OFR Consultants

Helping fire engineers enhance safety and efficiency with Obi Inspect

Reports are quick to produce, which means issues are resolved quicker, and construction projects stay on track

Gitana Grudyte, Fire Engineer, OFR Consultants

As an independent consultancy, our fire engineering expertise is what sets us apart. Regardless of whether clients engage in new construction or existing buildings, our insight provides an additional level of fire safety review that building contractors need to consider. Therefore, when clients use our services, they appreciate our clear, easy-to-understand reports and ongoing feedback.

Undoubtedly, this makes it easier to ensure that the recommendations we set out are realised in full at every stage. In fact, not many fire engineering consultancies provide the level of expert implementation support that we do, facilitated by our use of Obi Inspect. Our input in the project does not end with the completion of the design at RIBA Stage 4; we believe that providing support during the construction stages is vital for the successful implementation of the building fire strategy.

There are three main areas where we find Obi Inspect helps us to deliver our services to our clients:

  1. During new build projects, it enables OFR to provide construction support with ongoing reports to track issues, provide recommendations and keep track of items under review.
  2. During the production of retrospective fire strategies for the existing buildings, we use Obi to make observations and take notes to inform tailored fire strategy solutions that are specific to those buildings.
  3. During fire risk assessments, we use it to flag issues which client need to address as part of their responsibilities under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

Our reports’ clarity and consistency are essential for successful implementation. With Obi, there’s no confusion—we clearly define each observation and its exact location.

Gitana Grudyte, Fire Engineer, OFR Consultants

Prior to implementing Obi, we used various platforms, with some of our engineers writing observation reports in MS Word or having to finalise it in MS Word. Reports could vary due to individual formatting preferences, and it was time-consuming to collate information.

On-site, we would mark up issues and take photos with the phone, but it was hard to keep track of the exact locations, and sometimes questions may arise about the validity of the argument. When creating reports and trying to pinpoint problems, it was arduous to search through the evidence.

One of the primary benefits of the Obi system is its efficiency and accuracy when managing evidence.

Gitana Grudyte, Fire Engineer, OFR Consultants

Not only does this make it easier for us to collate reports and organise our findings, but when we report back to clients, it also helps us to deliver our recommendations clearly. We can highlight pertinent and reoccurring issues, and with a reference pin, we can easily flag specific findings – along with their location.

In Obi, all photographic evidence is geotagged, enabling us to pinpoint where issues were found. This provides definitive proof of any problems we discover on-site and stops any arguments with the contractor.

Furthermore, with standardised reports, we deliver consistent feedback time after time. Clients know what to expect from OFR, and anyone in their organisation can pick up our reports and understand the findings.

Standardised reports means anyone can read them and understand the issues at hand.

Gitana Grudyte, Fire Engineer, OFR Consultants

With Obi Inspect we have been able to increase efficiency and improve client satisfaction. We can go on site and create a report in hours allowing us to resolve things quicker.

Client communication has also been significantly enhanced, not just on a project-by-project basis, but on a portfolio level. When working with clients across their portfolio of properties, OFR can help clients identify trends, track where the focus needs to be applied, and even pre-empt fire-related issues based on previous observations on site.

It’s now less effort to organise and interrogate information because we can see where most problems are and categorise issues so we know where to probe further.

For clients, having this information on hand is vital. It helps them to record the golden thread of information for their buildings, but more importantly, it can help clients improve their fire safety information, ultimately saving them time and money and ensuring we can work together effectively to create a safer, healthier environment for building occupants.

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