Certain items belonging to UC Davis have property tags, which consist of a tag number and a barcode. Some of the older tags are pieces of metal, glued onto the item in question. These may lack a barcode if they're old enough. The modern tags are just normal stickers. Some departments may use barcode scanners to do their inventory, but I've never heard of it happening. Some departments, like the fire department, barcode specific kinds of equipment, like fire extinguishers, with a separate system.

Items that must have property tags are

  • Non-expendible, having a expected life of a year or greater.
  • Tangible, able to be appraised.
  • Free-standing
  • Possessing an acquisition cost of $5000 or more.

An item not meeting these specifications can still be tagged, at the option of the department owning the item. Once an item is tagged, it remains on inventory until the university disposes of it, even if its value drops below $500. That number, by the way, was lower in the past. So, you can have items with an acquisition cost of $500 on inventory long after it has depreciated to $0.

The tag number on a property tag tells you a bit about the item. The first two numbers of the tag tell you the year the equipment was acquired if the year was before 2000. If the equipment was acquired in the year 2000 or later, the first four digits of the tag number tell you the year the equipment was acquired. The next three digits say something, but I don't know what. The code 300 is used on lots of things. However, you will occasionally see letters here, like CTS (classroom technology services) or MW (Mediaworks). It's hypothesized that this code indicates who the equipment in question belongs to, but 300 seems to be used everywhere.

An example of a standard property tag

Department specific tags

In the case of the Fire Department, red bar code property tags have been used since the Summer of 2009 to keep track of all the 6500 fire extinguishers, and their proper locations, on the UC Davis campus. The numbers on each property tag represent an individual extinguisher or location in the computer database. "A" tags, which are on the fire extinguishers themselves, are for each individual extinguisher. "L" tags, which are stuck onto the wall, hook, or cabinet where the extinguisher lives, represent the registered location of the fire extinguisher in a building. "A" tags and "L" tags often have the same numbers in a given building but as fire extinguishers are exchanged for regular maintenance and recharging this will change. The new tags were painstakingly placed on nearly all 6500 campus extinguishers over the summer of 2009 by two hard working Student Resident Firefighters.

The lucky people who do fire extinguisher inventory for the Fire Department get to use barcode scanners to make their lives easier.

All other FD items including vehicles are tagged with standard UCD property tags.

An example of a fire extinguisher 'A' tag An example of the location of an 'L' tag

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2009-12-01 12:21:06   The presence of a UC property tag does not, in itself, indicate that the item is currently UC property. I've purchased several items from the Bargain Barn that still had property tags attached. —JimStewart

2009-12-01 13:13:38   300 is also the identifying tag for fire department stuff (other than fire extinguishers). Perhaps the identifier 300 more generically represents office of Admin stuff. —ARWENNHOLD

I may be mistaken... that's just what my boss told me. Hmm.... it would be nice to figure this out. I've also seen 300 on printers in the college of engineering, but figured they were just taken care of IET. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. Please edit if you learn anything new. =) —wl

2009-12-01 15:43:56   *yawn* —CovertProfessor