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Torrence Sound Equipment Co
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Mobile and Integrations Drive Today's Mass Notification Systems
Rapid evolution harnesses the latest in technology to improve solutions and their capabilities.

While mass notification and emergency communication may be mirror images of each other in terms of the direction of communication, the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

“The same devices could do both but the function is either from the far end in to the professional or from the professional out toward the edges,” says Samuel Shanes, CEO, Talkaphone, Niles, Ill.

Regardless of the communication path, the truth is that these systems are rapidly evolving to take advantage of the latest in technology. Of particular note in driving this evolution are mobile technologies and the ability — not to mention the necessity — to integrate a wider array of systems into mass notification systems (MNS) and emergency communication.

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NO, YOU’RE NOT TOO SMALL FOR A NOTIFICATION SYSTEM

Emergencies Aren’t Biased

Small companies can fall victim to a dangerous mindset of thinking they are too small to take formal precautions against crises. They believe that fancy emergency notification systems are relegated to the companies with thousands of employees scattered around the globe. While the magnitude of the emergency may scale with the size of the company, even the smallest mom and pop company needs a plan and a system to communicate when an unexpected event occurs.

The truth is, emergencies can happen anywhere, anytime, to anyone. All we have to do is look at the crazy hurricane season we will thankfully see coming to an end in the coming weeks. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Maria and Nate paid no attention to whether or not the buildings they destroyed were owned by a large or small company. They didn’t care if four employees were displaced or 4,000. It was of no concern as to which streets would be impassable and how long the power would be out.

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THE RIGHT WAY FOR HEALTHCARE FACILITIES TO DO MASS NOTIFICATION


Emergency Notifications in the Healthcare Industry
Our blogs typically highlight the use of emergency notification systems for companies, such as service organizations, manufacturing, and typical private-sector businesses with a medium to large and/or dispersed workforce. While this has been our focus, we believe it is critical for any organization across every industry to have an emergency plan in place, practiced, and periodically updated to include the latest technology. The plan must include, at its core, a sound emergency communications strategy and solution.

I stumbled upon a recent article talking about mass notifications in an industry we haven’t written much about, namely healthcare. We’ve mentioned how a mass communication system can be used in the healthcare industry for scheduling the many shifts involved in most healthcare organizations, but we haven’t touched upon the need for mass communications in the event of an emergency in a hospital or other patient care facility. Until now.

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Mass Notification System Enhances Emergency Communications

From catastrophic natural disasters to the threats college students face, there has been a heightened demand for Mass Notification Systems (MNS) that provide clear, concise and intelligible voice messages that communicate how people should respond in an emergency. The magnitude and diversity of today’s threats have influenced the federal government and other organizations to develop intelligibility requirements in order for an MNS to be effective.

NFPA 72 2013 defines intelligible as “Capable of being understood; comprehensible; clear.” Intelligibility is the degree to which we understand what is being said. Basically, if a voice message cannot be understood by the intended audience, then the MNS has failed and may have caused more harm than good.

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Overview of Commercial Security Systems


Understand what level of sophistication you need for a commercial security system and gain insight to leading manufacturers in the industry

A security system for your business provides greater peace of mind, lower insurance rates, and a safer working environment for you and your employees.

For small- or medium-sized businesses with minimal security needs, an off-the-shelf home alarm system may be sufficient. In fact, many small offices can likely get away with using off-the-shelf home security systems.

However, for companies with more extensive operations, a larger physical location, more employees, or high-value assets a more sophisticated commercial security system may be needed. These systems usually require professional installation and continuous monitoring and management.

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Features of Business Security Systems

There are as many ways to configure commercial security systems as there are ways to steal. A warehouse full of merchandise will need a different type of system than a drugstore's pharmacy. The features you need depend on the risks you face and what you can afford. Use the Business.com Checklist for Commercial Security Systems to note which features you need and what vendors charge for them.

Wired Alarm Systems

An alarm system comprises sensors at key points which, when triggered, send a signal that warns of a potential problem. The signal is often transmitted using a landline telephone system that phones the alarm company and/or police or fire department. This is called a "wired" or "hardwired" notification service. One problem with hardwired alarm systems is they don't work when the phone line doesn't work, such as when lines are down due to bad weather.

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3 Key Capabilities for Corporate Campus Mass Notification and Alert Systems

Emergency mass notification services (EMNS) don’t tend to garner a lot of attention – except when man-made events or natural disasters, such as severe weather, earthquakes, floods, cybersecurity breaches, terrorist or active shooter incidents occur and cause interruptions in critical business activities. Gartner estimates that the unplanned downtime caused by these types of events can cost organizations as much as $5,600 per minute, which makes access to information and the guidance needed to restore operations and protect employees incredibly valuable.

For businesses with corporate campuses of any size or location, communicating effectively with employees, vendors and visitors during any of these events can be very complex. Depending on the size of the campus or the total number of locations impacted, there may be the need to notify and inform hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of individuals. At other times the event may be much more geographically concentrated to a single campus or building, limiting the scope of the notification to a much smaller group of employees or individuals.

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10 Reasons Your Business Needs a Video Surveillance System

As you run your own business, no doubt you’ve considered the possibility of installing a new video surveillance system. While there may certainly be some serious concerns, the benefits of adopting a security camera system for business(es) can far outweigh the drawbacks. The following are just a few reasons a video surveillance system is a good investment.

Improve Employee Productivity
It’s a simple fact that when workers know the boss is watching, they’re more than likely to work harder, but that’s not the only reason video surveillance can provide a boost to productivity. With video systems in place, different departments will be able to communicate with each other more effectively. With this greater degree of collaboration and cooperation, business productivity can only increase.

Resolve Conflicts
Conflicts can pop up in any number of cases. Sometimes it might be a dispute between an employee and a customer, or it could be between two employees. In instances like these, it’s helpful for the business to look at what happened and come to a decision on how best to proceed. This is possible when the company has a security camera system installed, giving proof of what happened.

Theft Reduction
Surveillance cameras are an excellent way to both prevent and reduce theft. The mere presence of a security camera is sometimes enough for a prospective thief to rethink their plan of action. With a surveillance system in place, incidents of theft can be reduced dramatically, saving your business money and keeping your store and offices secure.

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Planning a hospital mass notification system
Designing communication infrastructure to handle any emergency

Today’s potential crises and disasters require the ability to customize a message and communicate to the building or campus occupants in real time. The large number of hospital visitors who are not familiar with the building’s layout, egress path and evacuation procedures makes an effective communication system especially important.

Fortunately, technology enables the delivery of specific life-safety messages in real time to targeted groups of people through multiple channels. These include live or prerecorded voice announcements over indoor paging systems and outdoor speaker arrays, text messaging, email blasts, pop-up messages on employee workstations and digital textual message signs. When used properly, such features are effective at notifying the building occupants of a wide variety of emergency situations.

But putting such a system together requires a well-considered plan.

Gathering input
In the early planning stages of designing a mass notification system (MNS), many parties should be consulted.

Because the International Building Code (IBC) or local state fire codes may specify different requirements for fire suppression, evacuation and personnel notification according to occupancy type, the building’s architect should be consulted to validate whether the facility-use group classification is Group I-1 or Group I-2.

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What Mass Notification Service Can Do for Your Alarm Business (and Community)

Two-way mass notification represents an added layer of RMR, and keeps communities connected with important information.

In free-enterprise systems, common economic theory dictates that business resources – time, money and labor – should be allocated in the manner that obtains maximum profits.

For decades, the most profitable activity for alarm contactors was to sell a system, at a loss, recoup costs via recurring monthly revenue (RMR) from monitoring and then profit from good service that retains the customer for many years. The next step was to repeat this process at a rate much greater than your attrition to grow your customer base and overall RMR.

Today, however, you should consider focusing efforts on existing commercial customers by offering two-way, mass-notification service (MNS) from your central station, which represents an added layer of RMR for those accounts.

Another opportunity is to sell MNS as a standalone system to operators of facilities in which you do not currently have the system under contract. With your foot in the door, you may be able to gain the entire system from your competitor, thus increasing your market share.

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