With the security of being the number one priority in today’s society, having an emergency notification system is very necessary for all building campus area no matter single or multiple. Once every second counts, new-generation wireless emergency notification systems are considered as the most dependable solution to encourage response time to emergency situations, making campuses become a more secure place. There are three major reasons to explain why using older emergency alert system that are based on text and phone messaging is no longer.
1. They can’t provide alerts to a specific campus zone, floor or building. Text and phone messaging systems notify subscribers according to pre-defined database lists and have no way to tell where each subscriber is at the time of an emergency. For example, during an emergency situation in building A, everyone in that building should be informed first and not according to the subscriber list. Alerts and instructions for each campus building during emergency situations may be different. For example, people in building A may be directed to evacuate the building while a lockdown is called in all other buildings.
2. They do not comply with the NFPA-72 guide. The newly published National Fire Protection Association 2010 guide illustrates how an emergency communication system (ECS) should be designed and function. According to the guide, an emergency communication system should provide area specific information and instructions to people in a building, area or site using intelligible voice communication methods and should include instantaneous visible signals, text and graphics.
3. They are too slow and use an unreliable infrastructure for real emergency situations. During emergency situations, when every second counts, a sequential notification method offered by text and phone messaging systems is too slow. In real time campus-wide tests, it took these types of systems hours to notify their subscribers. Also during peak activity (such as in emergency situations), phone and computer networks are prone to fail and can’t be trusted as a reliable communication method.
Recently, many campuses are starting to implement new emergency communications systems that are based on a network of Public Address speakers, alphanumeric LED displays and strobe lights. In the event of an emergency situation, this type of system will instantly issue audio and visual alerts along with pre-recorded or ‘live voice’ instructions which reduces confusion and injuries.
One of the most innovative systems offered today is a wireless emergency notification system that can be installed in any campus facility without the need to run wires, requiring minimal changes to the existing building structure. This system offers a central command station with a dedicated high power transmitter that can wirelessly communicate and control unlimited number of wireless devices such as PA speakers, strobe lights and LED displays. Each of these wireless devices can instantly be activated individually or as part of a group (zone) to provide area specific voice and visual messaging. The system command station can handle hundreds of pre-programmed activation scripts to instantly respond to a variety of campus emergency situations.
When every second counts, these new-age wireless emergency notification systems are the most dependable solution to improve response time to emergency situations, making campuses a safer place.
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