First of all, a very happy New Year to each and every one of you from us here at EMAV! A little late, I know, but it’s all been a little hectic here in the office and I’ve only just got the chance to put virtual pen to virtual paper.

And the topic for today’s little ramble is “inspections”, but before I get started, I’m going to ask a favour, in fact, I’m going to ask you to do a favour for your friends/family/colleagues (current or old), so on and so forth….if you know anyone that has the need to get up high to take a look, or in unusual places, for example, hanging off the side of a cliff/building and just anywhere with tricky access, send them the link to this blog post, trust me, they’ll thank you for it and they might even buy you a beer (other favourite tipples are available!).

What do we mean by inspections? Put simply, we think of it as “taking a look” – yes there’s more technical definitions out there, but we like to keep it simple. After all, that’s what EMAV is all about, making the difficult, dangerous, awkward or risky….simple! Another definition of an inspection could be a careful, thorough visual review of an asset – a bit more of a technical definition, but you get the idea.

As I’m writing this, Storm Brendan is hitting Ireland and making it’s presence felt here in the UK with some strong winds and rain – perfect weather for flying a drone! No, I don’t mean actually in the wind and rain, that’s not my idea of fun at all, but once the wind and rain has subsided, I’m pretty sure there’s going to be more than a few properties out there with some level of storm damage. How much exactly is the bigger question though and that’s where our drones come in – we can get those eyes up in the sky, taking a look at the roofs, towers, aerials & buildings from that unique perspective, without the need to get ourselves in difficult or dangerous situations.

Are we inspectors? No, absolutely not – we will work with those experts and provide high quality images and/or video for them to review and make comment on.

Mobile phone towers, electrical equipment, chimneys, bridges, fencing, dams, even crops can all be inspected with drones, but why use a drone when it’s always been done, just in different ways? I’m going to give you six key reasons, three are cost-saving but more importantly, three are purely about safety!

Let’s keep the accountants out there happy and start with the cost saving reasons:

1. Temporary structures – no need for scaffolding, platforms etc (note, not all inspections would require this of course!)

2. Downtime – not just the actual downtime while the inspection is taking place, but also the downtime while any applicable temporary structure is constructed/deconstructed. A drone inspection can be many times quicker than the equivalent “manual” inspection.

3. Liability insurance – massively reducing your risk should massively reduce your liability insurance!

And then the more important ones, the safety side of things:

4. Reduced risk – why dangle an inspector from a rope or climb scaffolding and sit on platforms when you don’t have to?

5. Increased frequency of inspections – why wait a year or two to do a maintenance inspection, if there’s no or practically no downtime, do those inspections more regularly and, as a result, stay safer!

6. Better record-keeping – you can’t save the images that an inspector sees with his/her own eyes, but you certainly can save the images that our drones capture! Get more people involved in looking at the imagery captured, send it off for further analysis if needed, capture thermal imagery too, why stick with what your eyes can see, but keep records of any thermal losses!

I’m going to leave it there as you’re probably bored of listening (reading!) my evangelising of drone use for inspections, but don’t just close this page and forget about it, your accountants and inspectors will thank you for getting us involved!

Once again, a very happy New Year to you all and let’s hope there’s not too much damage from Storm Brendan!