A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words


When taking on a new facility management client, our first step is to thoroughly document the property from top to bottom. This includes taking photos of everything, even if we think it’s of something that would never cause an issue. We also take photos of key areas during our monthly walk-thru appointments. This approach proves its worth when the inevitable issue does arise.

Case in point: One of our condo buildings recently experienced a carbon monoxide scare due to a ventilation issue in the hot water heater room. The fire department shut off the heater which meant the ENTIRE building was without hot water until the issue was addressed. Bid procurement for repairs was expedited by the ability to send vendors photos of the hot water heater, the room it was housed in, the area of the building, the chimney – you get the picture (pun intended). During the process it was brought to our attention that an important component of the hot water heater had been purposefully altered which may have contributed to the CO issue now being faced. The photo history we had of the hot water heater allowed us to trace back to when that alteration may have occurred (and, mitigate the concern we had that it happened on our “watch”).

With the inexpensive cloud-storage options now available and the awesome cameras on most smartphones, there’s really no excuse not to utilize this simple and direct tool when managing any project.