Mass Notification – An Upcoming Safety Standard

Mass notification systems

In the break of an emergency situation, it is important to have a quick, multi-layered notification system. For this reason, mass notification systems are becoming a safety standard for facilities around the world.

Mass notification systems send alerts and instructions using one-way communication during an emergency. Mass notification systems are often associated with active shooters and fires, but they are important for other emergencies, too. These systems are also ideal for warning occupants about natural disasters such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

 

What types of facilities benefit from mass notification systems?

Currently, the main market for mass notification systems are large properties and campuses that receive thousands of visitors a day. Popular users of these systems include:

  • Higher education campuses
  • K-12 campuses
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Military campuses

With building and safety codes increasing in popularity, more and more smaller to mid-sized facilities are adopting mass notification systems. Corporate and government campuses and even retail environments are beginning to use mass notification to alert occupants during emergencies.

 

How can alerts be communicated?

The biggest advantage mass notification systems hold is the ability to communicate and instruct occupants over multiple mediums at once. After all, the more ways alerts are sent out, the higher the chances are that occupants will remain safe. Alerts can be sent out using the following popular methods:

 

  • Mobile applications – Mass notification providers, such as Alertus, offer users an app for tablets and smartphones. In the event of an emergency, personnel can send notifications to app users.

 

  • Digital signage – Includes TV monitors and other screens in lobbies, hallways, conference rooms, etc. Once the alert is sent out, digital signage displays custom images/messages for those around them to see.

 

  • Fire alarm control panel interface – Mass notification systems integrated with fire panels detect the location of the fire and communicate the information over already existing alarm systems.

 

  • VoIP phones – In the event of an emergency, phone screens will display a custom emergency message while the speaker sounds alerts.

 

  • Beacons – Wall mounted alert beacons are ideal for attracting people walking by. Beacons can be customized to flash bright lights, sound alarms and communicate instructions to everybody near them.

 

Checklist for planning a mass notification system

Mass notification systems are designed to be easily integrated with already existing systems, but there are a few factors to consider when planning mass notification:

 

  • What is the best way to communicate with your employees and visitors during an emergency? Are your occupants in a loud environment where they won’t be able to hear warnings? Do employees spend most of their day on their computer and VoIP phone?
  • What communication methods are already installed in your facility?
  • Does your facility have the bandwidth to send out thousands of messages at once?
  • Where will digital displays, LED signs, beacons and other devices reach the most people?
  • How do you want to power the system?

 

Contact us to learn more about how mass notification systems can help your business communicate during an emergency when every second counts.

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