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Posted on: April 6, 2020

Remote Video Building Inspections

Construction Services during COVID-19

On March 31, 2020, the Alameda County Public Health Department extended the current Shelter in Place Order through May 3, 2020 to continue to limit the spread of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). In order to keep City employees and the community safe during this time, the City of Fremont will be offering Remote Video Building Inspections for limited types of construction projects that are allowed to proceed under the Shelter in Place Order.

The City’s Building Inspection team will start offering these live video call inspections to the public on April 7, 2020. Inspections will be performed using the following apps: FaceTime (iOS) and Google Duo (Android). In order to connect to the video call and interact with the Building Inspector, customers should use a smartphone or tablet with a 4G or 5G wireless service connection.

Types of Inspections Considered for Remote Video Inspections

  • Emergency electrical service or panel replacement
  • Emergency utility service release due to storm damage
  • Emergency water heater replacement
  • Emergency furnace replacement
  • Kitchen and bathroom work that is only under construction if necessary for habitability of the home prior to March 16, 2020 (i.e., the only bathroom and/or kitchen in the home; and walls, water lines, and drain lines are not being altered)
  • Emergency commercial refrigeration replacement
  • Emergency roof repair due to storm damage
  • Emergency plumbing repair
  • Underground trench work for buildings currently under construction to safeguard open trenches

Remote Video Inspection Steps 

Step 1: Scheduling Inspection

  • To schedule a Remote Video Inspection, please contact Building Inspection Manager Kono Soong by email with the following information: building permit number, street address, type of inspection, the app that you will be using (FaceTime or Google Duo), your preferred date and time for the inspection, and the name and contact number of the person that will be on site for the inspection.

Step 2: Conducting Inspection

  • The Building Inspector assigned to your project will initiate the live video call at the scheduled time using the app you indicated and the contact number you provided. When the inspection begins, you should be looking at the front of the structure with the address showing. The Inspector will then walk you through the inspection during the video call.

Step 3: Obtaining Inspection Results

Additional Information for Remote Video Inspections

  • Preparing for Inspection
  • Prior to your inspection, ensure that the necessary tools for your type of inspection are available on site (e.g., legible tape measure, screwdriver, level, GFCI tester, step ladder, an item to push the test button on your smoke detector).

Preparing to Receive Video Call

  • Have the required tools ready and accessible.
  • Make sure your smartphone or tablet is fully charged.
  • Turn off notifications on your mobile device before the video call. Notifications freeze the video call, cause delays to the inspection, and could require the inspection to be rescheduled.
  • Be ready to start the inspection with a street view, looking at the front of the structure with the address showing.
  • Be ready to accept a video call at the scheduled time and respond to requests from the Building Inspector.

Conducting Inspection

  • Follow the directions of the Building Inspector.
  • Make notes of any items that need corrections.

Obtaining Inspection Results

  • The Inspector will update the City’s permitting system after the video call is complete. Shortly after the inspection, comments will be available on the City’s Citizen Access online portal.
  • The Inspector will evaluate if an additional fee for re-inspection is required, so please be ready and have all work completed.

Scheduling Inspection Online

  • Currently, requests for Remote Video Inspections will be scheduled by email. This process may be expanded in the future as the City increases services.

To schedule your Remote Video Building Inspection, please contact Building Inspection Manager Kono Soong by email.

For more information, please contact Building Inspection at 510-494-4400 or by email.

For more information on essential services and updates on how the City of Fremont is monitoring the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the City’s Coronavirus webpage.

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