San Diego, CA. May 18, 2009 - SmartDraw.com, maker of SmartDraw, the software that helps you work smarter by communicating visually, today announced the results of a two-year pilot software project conducted by Rick Percival, Fire Prevention-Safety Officer at Carleton University.
The project's objective was to use technology to inspect buildings, note areas that need attention, diagram the building floorplan and the proposed solution, write and file a findings report and obtain a signature from the building warden verifying the inspection—all while at a building site. The goal was to use the technology solution to increase efficiency of the process, which would enable the inspections of far more buildings each year to ensure the safety of Carleton's 25,000 year-round residents.
Percival chose SmartDraw software as a chief component of the solution.
"We looked at a number of software programs, some of which seemed good, but were too memory and process intensive," said Percival. "We then downloaded SmartDraw onto the tablet PC and it was, right from the get-go, very user friendly and not dependent on persons whose training was in computers. After using it for two weeks we knew SmartDraw was the way to go."
Percival used SmartDraw to create detailed floor plans of each of the 41 buildings he inspected on the Ottawa campus. SmartDraw's customized fire inspection symbols such as fire extinguishers, exit signs, and staircases, added realism and depth to the designs, which he was able to create in minutes while in each building. Importantly, using SmartDraw helped Percival when there were proposals to change a floor plan, amend a Fire Safety Plan, or in fire safety planning for special events.
"Today, when I need to complete or renovate a plan, I can get the plan, put it into SmartDraw, change the symbols they provide or use my own for additions and get it back to the Building Authority, or event organizer, the same morning. This has saved an extraordinary amount of time."
To round out the handheld solution, Percival chose MobileEyes Fire Inspection software to provide on-the-fly fire inspection forms, up to date local fire code information and documentation.
"With MobileEyes, the fire codes are in the software and are searchable. I know that if certain valves have to be in an open position, I can go to the code, type in 'valves', and it will search and tell me what is necessary. For me as a practitioner, that is fantastic."
The combination of SmartDraw with MobileEyes has made Percival's fire safety inspection package complete and has turned what used to be a 2-3 week fire inspection process, per building, into a one-day process per building. The SmartDraw/MobileEyes solution to date has been used by scores of firefighters, fire safety inspectors, and fire safety planners across the country for just this purpose.
"With a picture being worth 1000 words, programs like SmartDraw and MobileEyes are a great stride forward for fire safety," noted Percival. "The bottom line is that people are safer with tools that can show them, at a glance, what they need to do to be safer and to ensure the safety of others. SmartDraw and MobileEyes have been great corporate citizens and a real boost to the fire safety program."
SmartDraw.com is the creator of SmartDraw, software that helps you work smarter by communicating visually. Because people are six time more likely to retain and understand information presented to them visually, SmartDraw helps businesses increase their bottom line by improving communication, refining operations , completing projects on time, and successfully implementing their plans. Whether it's a flowchart to explain a business process, a Gantt chart to show a project schedule or an organizational chart, SmartDraw is unique because it draws more than 40 different types of visuals for you, including timelines, maps, charts, decision trees and floor plans, resulting in presentation-quality visuals in just minutes. The company's customers include more than half of the members of the Fortune 500, 2,000 K-12 schools and universities, and thousands of law firms, police departments, health systems and private enterprises of all sizes. In fact, SmartDraw is downloaded more than 3 million times each year. Founded in 1994, SmartDraw.com is a privately-held, San Diego, CA-based company and is part of the Working Smarter Network. For more information or to download a free trial version, please visit www.smartdraw.com.