Mass Notification Triggers: A Comprehensive Guide


Understanding Mass Notification Triggers

When an emergency occurs in your organization, you need to let people know as quickly as possible. Having easy-to-use and accessible notification triggers helps ensure that the moment someone sees an incident occur, the alerting process will begin. However, even if organizations have mass notification systems in place, they might not realize all of the available triggers they have at their disposal for broadcasting alerts. In this blog post, we’ve compiled a comprehensive guide of mass notification triggers that help get the word out quickly with text, audio, and visual messages so people can stay out of harm’s way.

Manual Triggers

Manual triggers require input from a person to activate they typically need to be near a device and in some cases may need to log into a system to access notifications. Below is a list of manual mass notification triggers and how users can use them to activate messages.

Web Console: Most mass notification systems have a web-based console users can log into to manage notifications. This is where messages can be configured, groups can be assembled, and reports can be analyzed. Notifications can also be launched from the web console, but if this is the only triggering method available, organizations can waste time forcing administrators to be in front of a computer before notifications are sent out.

Mobile App: To add more flexibility to how and when notifications can be triggered, many organizations also utilize a mobile app offered by their mass notification system. Utilizing an app on a mobile device gives users the freedom to activate alerts from anywhere with a few simple taps.

Speed Dial: In office, healthcare, and manufacturing settings, IP phones are often readily available. Configuring speed dials allows users to trigger messages by punching in a code to broadcast messages. This method is also particularly useful when the need arises to use live audio as the speed dial can connect directly into overhead paging and speaker systems.

Panic Button: Physical panic buttons offer a one-touch, discrete solution for trigger alerts. Physical panic buttons installed under desks, or configured on desk phones make it easy to alert people about potential issues without putting the person who triggered the alert in danger.

Keyboard Shortcut: Another discreet method is keyboard shortcuts. Typing a command into a computer desktop connected to a mass notification system can trigger alerts that are broadcast throughout an organization.

Automated Triggers

For notifications that require urgent alerting, automated triggers can be configured that do not require any personal interaction. Below is a list of ways notifications can be automated to trigger.

Call Monitoring: This method triggers notifications when a specific phone number is dialed from a phone. This is most commonly used to send alerts when an emergency number like 911 is dialed within an organization. This alerts people that an emergency is taking place and helps better direct first responders when they arrive.

Email Monitoring: Mass notification systems can be configured to monitor specific email addresses for certain words or phrases. When an email is sent to the address matching the predefined criteria, it will trigger a notification.

CAP Feed: Certain mass notification systems can monitor CAP feeds from the National Weather Service. Organizations can set up parameters such as location and type of weather event and when the CAP feed sends out a message matching those parameters it will trigger the mass notification system to broadcast an alert.

RSS Feed: Similar to CAP feeds, RSS feeds can also be monitored for certain words and phrases. Once those phrases appear, the mass notification system will automatically trigger a message.

Contact Closures: Gunshot detection systems, AED cabinets, eyewash stations, and many other IoT devices all utilize contact closures which can be connected to a mass notification system. When any of these devices are used, notifications can be triggered with detailed messages related to the device that was activated.

Scheduled Messages: Organizations can also set up notifications to go out at regularly scheduled intervals. This could be schools setting up a bell schedule or a business alerting staff about shifts ending or beginning. Once scheduled, messages will go out without the need for further interaction.

During an emergency, every second counts. The more ways an organization offers for triggering a message, the faster everyone can be alerted about a situation. This means people can seek shelter and responses can be deployed more quickly resulting in better outcomes.




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