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Implementing An Emergency Communication System (ECS)

Provide critical updates during hazardous situations

ABOUT EMERGENCY COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS

Emergency Communication Systems (ECS), also known as Mass Notification Systems, are designed to alert and evacuate occupants of a building in case of an emergency situation. ECS are an evolution of traditional Fire Alarm Systems (FAS), which provide alerts in case of a fire. An ECS has the ability to not only alert in case of fire, but also in other situations such as natural disasters, active shooters, intruders, and other situations that occupants need to be aware of and respond to.

Depending on the situation, emergency communication systems can use a combination of voice messaging, flashing strobe lights, and/or scrolling, alpha-numeric signs to alert and instruct occupants of a critical update. An ECS may also be equipped with a text messaging or email notification component which sends direct alerts to an occupant’s cell phones or computer screens, allowing them to react swiftly.

Working in tandem with a company’s business continuity plan, an ECS not only alerts occupants that an emergency is occurring, but also advises occupants directly on the nature of the emergency and provides instructions on the correct actions to take.

ECS APPLICATIONS FOR FIRE AND NATURAL DISASTERS

An ECS provides flexible solutions to ensure safety to employees during a potential threat. Upon detection of fire or impending natural disaster (such as a tornado), the ECS sends an alert tone over speakers, alerting occupants to the message that will follow. The system then plans a pre-recorded message providing evacuation or shelter-in-place directions. The tone and message are accompanied by flashing strobe lights and scrolling LED signs located in areas of congregation would mirror the spoken message, providing visual cues to the occupants. While a traditional FAS would alert occupants via a horn tone and strobe lights, an ECS provides verbal communications.

ECS APPLICATION FOR INTRUDERS AND ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATIONS

As increasing attention is brought to the hazards of intruders and active shooters in the workplace, ECS are becoming part of a company’s risk management program in more frequency. An ECS has the ability to warn occupants of these threats if they do occur. If a potentially dangerous intruder is spotted within the building, an ECS is manually activated, sending an alert tone over speakers alerting occupants to the pre-recorded message. Shelter in place and lockdown orders can be communicated, accompanied by flashing strobe lights and scrolling LED signs. Alternately, text messages and emails can be sent directly to the occupants with notification and instructions.

OTHER APPLICATIONS FOR ECS

In addition to providing warnings for fires and intruders, ECS can warn occupants of situations such as:

  • Earthquake, tornado and tsunami warnings
  • Air-raids and acts of terrorism
  • Bomb threats
  • Hostage-taking events
  • Other evacuation or lockdown scenarios
  • Traffic or parking alerts
  • Member-only notifications
  • Venue changes
  • Billing or shipping notifications
  • General updates regarding business operations, building closures, etc.
  • Accidents within the site

TÜV SÜD GRC IS HERE TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

As the technology of ECS are continually evolving and improving, it is critical that you receive the best bids possible to ensure that the technology you place in your buildings is up-to-date and optimized for your unique needs. TÜV SÜD Global Risk Consultants (GRC) provides critical system designs for Emergency Communication Systems, allowing you to ensure that the bid quality design matches your business needs.

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