The principle behind Contacts is easy. If possible, have one contact entry and use that entry throughout the FP2 data when needed. The most useful way to initially enter contacts is through the Properties module. Using Properties, you can maximize the usability of the contacts module. You can add them to incidents and to inspections but the contact entered won’t be available elsewhere in FP2.
Here’s an example: At 123 Main Street there was a small fire; when creating the Incident record FP2 didn’t have any data on the owner of the property. So, the owner information was added to the incident record (and not the property.) Since incidents mark these contacts as present at the time of the incident, it’s not the same as being the present owner of the property.
Later in the week, Joe Smith- owner of the 123 Main St. building, comes in for a burn permit. However, his contact information has not flowed into the Permit record. So it’s entered again in the permit. A couple weeks later, Joe requests an inspection. Again, the inspection author cannot locate his contact info because it hasn’t been entered in the property module.
Had the original data entry been done in the Property module, the contact information could have been selected and copied through to incident, the permit, and the inspection request.
To add Property contacts:
Open the property record and select the contacts tab. Assign the attributes to define the contact, and save it. This contact is now automatically accessible in incident reports, inspections, and permits- should you find the need to copy his information over.
When the owner of the property changes, the property contact should be updated as well. Marking Joe Smith as ‘Inactive’ in the Property module will stop his contact information from being copied when new Incidents and Inspections occur. Earlier reports will be preserved and still show Joe Smith as the owner at the time of the fire, as the one who applied for the burn permit, and the one who requested the inspection.
Should anything new occur at 123 Main St. the new contact information will show Jane Doe, the proud new owner of 123 Main.
Sometimes you’ll want to enter information that’s true at the time of the event and not tie the contact to the property; a friend, house sitter, renter, etc. who was there when the incident occurred and should be entered directly in the incident report. That information is not likely to be needed in the future and the correct place to add it will be in the appropriate sub-module.
Always add your primary contacts directly in the property record. Secondary contacts that are only found at the time of the event can be added in the appropriate module. If the contact exists in the property module, copy them over instead of re-entering the data. There’s less of a chance of a mistake if you always use the same record rather than entering it 3 or 4 times throughout the software.