The Safety, Licensing, and Inspection (SLI) program was created by the MIT Association of Independent Living Groups (AILG) and began operation in Fall 2005. The SLI program has two main components:
- Managing licenses, inspection reports, and other documents
- Facilitating municipal inspections, with the aid of the Building Safety Facilitator (BSF)
What SLI Can Do For You
The on-line electronic data repository means that you should never have to worry about losing license-related documentation. Your lodging license still needs to be physically posted, of course, and you will probably want to continue keeping a folder or notebook containing paper copies of key inspection reports, but whenever you need a document and can’t find it, the electronic repository is always there.
The SLI program tracks the expiration dates of your licenses and inspection reports for you, and issues e-mail reminders when an expiration date is coming up. The interdependencies between documents are also tracked, so that if (say) your lodging license depends on a municipal inspection certificate which further depends on a sprinkler inspection report, an early reminder about your sprinkler inspection report will be sent well in advance of the date you’ll ultimately need it for your new lodging license.
The Building Safety Facilitator (BSF), if your house chooses to contract for this service, can be of great assistance to you. The BSF performs preinspection walkthroughs before each of your major municipal inspections, advising you of issues you’ll want to pay attention to in order to keep the real inspector happy. The BSF can also offer you general advice on physical plant issues in general. The BSF also attends the actual inspections, and can serve as a liaison between your house and the city. Although the BSF is employed by and represents the MIT independent living groups, he maintains a good rapport with the various inspectors from the Inspectional Services Department, the Fire Department, and other city departments, and can often “say the right word” when there’s a difference of opinion about a situation at your house.
The SLI program exists to make it easier and less timeconsuming to manage licensing and related issues, but it doesn’t do everything for you; there are still a few things you have to do (and in any case the ultimate responsibility for the safety and management of your house is of course still yours).
1. Submit Documents
When you receive official paperwork having to do with licenses and inspections — paper inspection reports and certificates, or actual licenses — you need to submit them to the document repository, either electronically, by fax, or in person. Detailed instructions are in the “Using the SLI System” section below.
(Some documents are processed through the SLI/FCI office and so are filed for you automatically, but others which come to you first do need to to be submitted by you.)
2. Review Documents
Periodically check your house’s on-line document locker (again, detailed instructions are below) and make sure its picture of your status matches yours.
3. Maintain Contact Lists
The SLI program needs to be able to communicate reliably with you — to send you reminders, to coordinate inspections, and in case of emergency. Each participating house must have two house corporation members and two house members as contacts. Make sure your contact lists are up to date (instructions are below).
4. Schedule Inspections and Preinspection Walkthroughs
Obviously, when one of your inspection certificates or licenses is about to expire, you need to schedule the appropriate inspection to renew it.
The biggest inspections — the municipal inspections preceding your lodging license renewal — are usually scheduled for you in a centralized way, and some of your inspections (for example of your alarm system) may be performed automatically by your vendor, but in general, you need to be aware of the upcoming required inspections and make sure they’ve been scheduled. In particular, if you’re subscribing with the services of the BSF, and you have a municipal inspection coming up, you need to be in contact with the BSF to schedule your preinspection walkthrough. (The BSF does not just show up at your front door, unannounced, like some smiling Amway salesman!)
You can log in to the SLI document-management system at http://inside.fsilg.coop/. Your username is of the form “xyz-SLI”, where “xyz” is your house’s initials or short name. If you don’t have your password, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The main screen when you log in is a table of your house’s current documents. They’re color-coded to show which ones are current, or about to expire, or (if any) expired.
In the last column, “Document”, you can click on a document’s filename to download an electronic copy of that document. (Downloaded documents are usually in PDF format.)
To submit a document electronically, click on the “Submit SLI Document” link at the top edge of the page. Follow the forms to specify the document type, vendor (an inspection contractor for an equipment inspection, a municipality for a municipal inspection, etc.), and expiration date. Click the “Browse” button to locate the electronic document on your computer you wish to upload. Finally, click “Create”. You will receive a confirmation message indicating that the document has been received for processing. (Note that the document will not show up in your locker immediately.)
To review your house’s SLI contacts list, click on the “SLI Contacts” link at the top of the page. The table shown is of your house’s currently-active contacts. To update the contact information for one of the people already on your list, click the “Edit” link. To add a new contact, perhaps because of a changeover of officers, click the “New contact” link. Simply edit the relevant fields, and click “Submit” or “Create”. (Note that changes will not show up in your displayed contact list immediately.)
When you have a new person who should become a contact, please create a new contact entry for that person, rather than changing the name on one of your existing contacts. To make an existing contact inactive, edit it and uncheck the “Active” box.
American Alarm E-mail Forwarding
Most MIT ILG houses have fire alarm systems monitored by American Alarm, Inc. Fire alarm systems are relatively complex, and include several internal self-test features which are supposed to ensure that any problems are caught and corrected before they might prevent the alarm system from properly alerting you about an actual alarm condition.
From time to time, American Alarm may receive signals indicating that your alarm system is operating imperfectly and may have a problem. In this case, American Alarm generates an e-mail which is forwarded to the SLI contacts for your house. This e-mail is a warning only — it is not a fire alarm, and should not suggest that your house might be on fire — but it is an indication that there might be a problem which, if left uncorrected, could result in your alarm system being unable to properly alert you and the fire department were your house to experience an actual fire.