Mass notification is the prime solution for alerting school students during an active assailant situation. And now, mass notification systems are being used in all types of facilities and businesses.

Every organization must provide the appropriate security and safety measures for employees and visitors. Fire alarm annunciation was one of the first large-scale systems to provide audio alerting, but this was typically loud buzzing accompanied by strobe lights. There were no voice messages to provide clear instructions and information.

With systems integration, mass notification is part of a larger safety and security solution that can communicate with security teams, administration, and local law enforcement. Integrated systems commonly include video surveillance, access control, intrusion detection, fire alarm, intercom, and audio annunciation. It’s important to select a security integration company that can seamlessly integrate each system to deliver a unified security and safety solution.

Integrated systems save time, and more importantly, life and property. If an assailant forcibly enters a front door, for example, any occupant can press an easily visible and accessible duress button to activate a series of events:

• Live video can be brought to the attention of the security officer.
• Emails and text alerts can be sent to management.
• A calm, clear message with specific information about the event can be broadcast throughout the facility.
• Offsite response can be initiated through automatic dispatch from a central monitoring station.
• Doors can be automatically locked or unlocked to contain the situation and allow for evacuation.

Mass notification is also a valuable resource for weather events, non-emergency broadcasts, and industry-specific announcements and alerts.
System complexity and the direct impact on life-safety requires that a mass communication system be planned and integrated carefully. You may also find that your system must be approved by the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ), which is usually the fire marshal. Regulated approval ensures the system will meet all applicable codes, guidelines, and operational plans.

You’ll Need a Long-Term Solution

Whether your mass notification system is deployed as a stand-alone system or a fully integrated safety and security management solution, it’s a serious investment that deserves careful planning and impeccable installation. Once installed, systems supported by regular maintenance programs and SMAs, like the Vision Investment Protection (VIP) program, can ensure your solution is completely up-to-date, backed-up to your performance expectations, and consistently cyber secure. Maintenance is performed regularly, and the system’s server hardware and software aren’t an IT concern.

Take Action

The goal of a security assessment and site survey is to uncover potential threats at schools, buildings, and campuses of all sizes. Ultimately, these solutions can help integrate a variety of technologies as part of a plan that works in unison to help secure occupants, protect valuable assets, and assist in preventing physical access to sensitive areas.

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