Talk-A-Phone Solutions Layered Mass Notification: Flexible, Accurate, and Rapid Communication In Emergency Situations
A fire begins. A burglar robs a student. Security receives a bomb threat. How can campuses best facilitate the sharing of this crucial information so that timely assistance can be provided? The Problem:
Integrates with Blue Light/Strobe and CCTV giving security additional access to campus and users a greater sense of security
Cellular, RF, Voice-over-IP, and Solar options also available, increasing system flexibility
Nearly endless integration possibilities:
Any 400-series phone can be mounted in any outdoor mount, including towers, wall mounts, pedestal mounts, and surface mount boxes
Wide selection of mounts allows facilities to place phones in a multitude of areas maximizing their security coverage
“ The bright blue lights give people a sense of safety in knowing that assistance is always close by with a simple push of the button.” -- William Curtin, Director of Environmental Services, Loyola University Emergency Phones (Design Features cont.)
Emergency Phones offer an efficient method for direct communication between the user and security. But, security may also have need to notify a wider population. Mass Broadcast Audio systems, like W.E.B.S. (Wide-Area Emergency Broadcast System) provide this capability
Tower and wall mounts integrate ADA-Compliant Emergency Phone and Wide-Area Emergency Broadcast System; Paging Units also available independent of emergency phones.
Announcements can be remotely transmitted via phone line or radio frequency interface and can be broadcast to units individually , in selected groups , or in an all-call for large area coverage
Analog and Native IP solutions available
Announcements can be tailored to each unit or region depending on need.
Integrate with PTZ CCTV cameras for a complete security / surveillance solution
Concealed high-power speakers provide 360º coverage . Separate volume controls for each speaker
Personnel can unlock local command station and make on-site announcements
Personnel can also remotely broadcast to towers individually, in selected groups, or to all at once.
Tone and voice messages possible
Attention-getting blue light strobe mounted atop tower. The blue light is continuously lit. The strobe function is activated when a call is placed or by command of remote guard calling into the emergency phone
WEBS-MT/R-OP4 models come with arm to mount your own dome camera .
A variety of emergency phone, lettering, signage, and color choices are available
Outdoor Analog Area Paging Unit that provides Wide-Area Emergency Broadcast capability. Comes in both Analog (PA-2A) and IP (PA-2IP) versions increasing system flexibility
Two concealed high-power side speakers provide 180º coverage
Remotely broadcast to WEBS Area Paging Units individually, in selected groups, or all-call
Paging units allow for mass broadcast capability either in conjunction with emergency phones or independent from them.
Power supply, amplifier, and speakers all mount inside enclosure
Paging units (both indoor and outdoor)can reach areas that other units cannot, thereby maximizing security’s footprint on campus
Home Phone, Cell Phone and Text Messaging “ During the summer, Tech instituted a system that alerts students and staff of emergencies by text messages on cell phones, e-mail and instant messages. However, the committee's report noted that the university's communications systems were taxed the day of the shootings, and that many cell phone calls could not go through because of the huge demand .” -- “Va. Tech Panel: Increase Security, Add Classroom Locks,” The Associated Press "The general feeling was that text messaging was instant. It's not instant ," said Scott Ksander, executive director of information technology networks and security at Purdue.” -- “ Purdue Finds Delay in Text Messaging” – Erika D. Smith, Indy Star
Cell phone and text messaging systems are another mass notification option. However, their benefits and costs should be understood:
Automated messages mean the same message goes to everybody regardless of receivers situation and need
People don’t always have their cell phones with them or on. In addition, some situations (meetings, classroom) require phones be turned off
In emergencies, cell phone networks are flooded with messages , meaning messages don’t always get through
Requires users to sign up-- if you’re not on the list, you don’t get a message
“ Emergency experts say that while reverse 911 systems can be invaluable, they work best in fast-moving disasters when backed up by sirens or other means of blaring warnings to entire neighborhoods. " I'm a big fan of redundant systems -- the idea is to hit people in every aspect of their daily lives ," said Mark Ghilarducci, an emergency-management expert with James Lee Witt Associates.” - “ Wildfire victims criticize automated emergency calls, ask for sirens,” Associated Press
“ Layer systems so that they overlap , and augment them with an intelligent voice evacuation system,” says [Tom Giannini, director of security marketing for SimplexGrinnell]. “Relying on a single type of technology will not cover your every need.” -- “ A new emphasis on communication during emergencies has led to fresh thinking about mass notification systems” –Loren Snyder, Building Operating Management Closing Thoughts:
Facilities and campuses face a variety of security problems.
There is no single magic bullet to meet every need
Systems that are redundant can prevent blind spots and maximize coverage
Flexibility--getting coverage in multiple areas via a variety of means--can save lives and better protect your facility
"Cell phones are one good idea for handling emergencies, but you need other approaches , since we still won't allow students to turn on phones during classes.” - Jay Dominick, CIO at Wake Forest University in “Post Va.Tech, campus CIOs face demands to boost communications” by Matt Hamblen in Computerworld