Let’s face it, climbing ladders can be fun, but it is also a risk most of us can do with out. Unfortunately, we didn’t have many cost effective choices available to us if we needed to visually inspect a roof, gutter, soffit, facia or another part of a building which was beyond our reach. Sure we could have installed sensors, cctv camera systems, elevators, or used aerial devices, but those weren’t cheap to install or maintain. Sure drones get a bad wrap, but drones make for safety. Let’s see why.
Enter the drones
Not only are drones fun, but they are far and away much safer in many of our daily maintenance inspection routines. They can make quick work of otherwise daunting procedures. They can keep us on the ground, save time and money. Just think about what it really takes to inspect a leaky gutter or solar array on a roof. First, you have to park the truck, unload the ladder, carry the ladder, setup the ladder, tie it off, climb it, climb down, take it down, carry it back, load it and drive away. That’s an awful lot of steps just to do a quick visual inspection.
Now take a look at how a drone might reduce strains, sprains, slips and falls. To inspect the same, you just have to get out of the truck (maybe not if you are good pilot) carry the 2lbs drone to the site and set it flying. If you see a potential problem on the camera display, then you can go thru the steps of pulling out your ladder and tools. Otherwise, off to the next site.
Drones for sports and band
Another potential area where drones could make a huge impact is in school sports and bands. Often band instructors and coaches want to see their students/teams formations from an elevated position. So, they bring out a ladder and in some cases an aerial lift to watch how the formation progresses. In the process, they usually damage the adjacent running track, field or themselves. With a drone, the coach/band instructor could launch the drone and watch on the camera display. Even better they could record the performance and provide a review copy in class for the students to learn from.
Drones for security
Most writings to date, will warn you of privacy concerns and the threats and hazards to public safety drones bring to society as a whole. And I don’t disagree that the use of drones in the wrong hands can be dangerous to public safety and privacy, but when used appropriately by property owners and its security team, drones can provide much needed air support. Over the years we have been trying to do more with less and that means that we aren’t properly staff our security posts.
Imagine you are trying to locate an active shooter on your school campus. Send up the drone 500 feet and search the campus. The active shooter won’t hear the drone and you just might get the location you need and real-time footage.
Imagine you had to evacuate the classrooms and activate the EOC. Elementary students are staged in various locations on the campus and will be overnight. A drone can fly at 50mph and verify that gates are locked, students aren’t in places they shouldn’t be and provide you with early detection of looters and the like.
Drones make for safety
There is certainly a dark side to the use of drones, but like anything new we tend to demonize the unknown. If we take a moment or two, we can list out several more ways that drones make for safety. Not only do they save time, money and injuries, they can also give us a perspective that we haven’t seen before.
If you use a drone at work, we would love to hear your thoughts.