Maintaining Building Safety While People are Remote with Mass Notification


Mass Notification for Building Safety

The coronavirus has forced many organizations to close their normal facilities to comply with the guidelines established by local and federal governments to maintain social distancing to help prevent the spread of the disease. While this has presented numerous challenges for organizations that need to adjust to a remote work schedule, it also has presented challenges for facility managers and security staff that look after the physical buildings people typically work in. With buildings sitting empty, they can become vulnerable to theft and damage that can further disrupt operations. Organizations need a way to alert staff members who manage buildings that something may be wrong when they are remote.

Mass notifications offer the ability to trigger automatic alerts to key team members in a variety of ways when they are remote. In this blog post, we’ll outline the different triggers organizations can configure and the delivery methods that will be most effective to protect their buildings with mass notification.

Contact Closures and the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things is becoming a crucial component of mass notification. Devices and systems that leverage contact closures can be used to establish automatic triggers that send mass notifications. A water sensor in a critical data center can alert teams that there is a potential flooding issue. Fire alarms triggered within a building can be connected to a mass notification system to send messages to a safety team when it is activated. Door access systems can notify people if someone enters the building who is not supposed to be there. The configuration possibilities can be customized for the devices and systems that are most relevant to your organization. The sooner someone is notified of a potential issue, the sooner a response can be deployed to help mitigate the damage.

Surveillance Cameras

If there is an incident that requires intervention, it can be helpful for security teams and facility managers to be able to see what may be wrong. Mass notification systems can include links to view live security feeds from cameras within a building to help staff assess situations while they are remote. Cameras can also be set up to trigger mass notifications when they detect motion. This will help building managers if people are in their buildings when they are not supposed to be and protect assets from potential theft.

Outdoor Digital Signage

In addition to getting information about what’s going on within a building, tools outside of a building can be used to keep people informed on the status of operations. Outdoor digital signage can relay messages from a mass notification system to let people know that a facility is closed until further notice. It can also direct people to where they stay up to date on the status of your organization. This can prevent people from attempting to enter your building when there is no one there.

Mass Notification Delivery Methods

With people working remote, mobile devices will become the primary way for people to view alerts from a mass notification systems. Alerts can be sent via SMS text message, push notification to a mobile app, email, recorded audio message or desktop notification. The more channels you leverage the more likely it is that someone will see an alert and respond to it in a timely manner.

Notifications can also help remote workers collaborate on responses to potential incidents. Following a notification, a select group of people can receive an invitation to join a collaboration space via tools like Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams and conference calls. This helps bring together the right people quickly to make decisions on how to best address a potential problem.

While organizations are protecting their most valuable asset, their people, by sending them home, empty buildings may still have other valuable assets that need to be protected, like technology, records and equipment. Mass notification can help provide valuable insights into what is happening in buildings when it is not possible to monitor facilities in person.




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