Mass Notification Systems

Whether you own or rent your facility, you have to protect your employees and others who use the building or who are simply visiting. How do you do this? Mass notification systems are the tool most organizations use today. The object is simple: notify a large number of people in the shortest amount of time. This week's articles offer some insights into how these systems work, how you can put them into effect and even provide links to some providers of these solutions.

A mass notification system should not only be versatile enough to contact individuals regardless of where they are, but also able to reach out to pre-defined areas regardless of whom is situated there. (Item #1)   The first step is to develop a notification plan, which serves as the basis for developing a mass notification system that delivers emergency messages. (Item #2)   Here are some things to keep in mind when planning or upgrading a mass notification system. (Item #3)  

When planning an MNS, keep in mind the importance of ensuring that the hearing impaired must get the same message and training as the hearing. (Item #4)   This article contains information about the regulation of mass notification systems. (Item #5)   Confused about what's out there? Here are links to some available systems. (Item #6)  

As always, we look forward to hearing your comments & insights regarding business continuity. If you have a topic you'd like us to cover, email me at [email protected].

Bob Mellinger, President
Attainium Corp

1. Mass Notification: From Everyone to Just One

According to the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code Handbook, a mass notification system should now include two forms communications, "one from Tier 1 [sirens, indoor and outdoor loudspeakers, electronic signage, etc.] and a secondary method from one of the other tiers," which includes short message service (SMS) text messaging, emails and location-specific audio broadcasting to name a few.

2. Creating a Mass Notification Plan and Adopting New Technology

The lesson of the past 10 years is that in an emergency the number of injuries and fatalities could be reduced if facilities could communicate through multiple means to a large number of people. The shootings have spurred efforts to design and install systems to control the way facility managers and others communicate with occupants, as well as the types of messages sent to different groups.

3. Eight Things to Know About Mass Notification

Based on interviews with a variety of MNS users and vendors during the last year, including the large stalwarts moving to IP-based solutions and younger start-ups with a pure IP focus, here are seven basic practices to keep in mind when planning or upgrading a system.

4. Emergency Mass Notification and Fire Alarm Systems for All

Both the hearing and those who are hearing impaired must receive the same message, and it must be specific, consistent, certain, clear, and accurate. These same people need this information to ensure they take the right action in response to any emergency.

5. NFPA-72-2010 Dedicated to Mass Notification Systems

Experts agree that the time is right for the regulation of mass-notification systems. The need is driven, in large part, by the fact that effective mass notification depends on complex and coordinated interaction between multiple systems. What's more, notification needs vary greatly from one type of building to another, and even from one part of a given facility to the next. Indeed, a company with employees in four different types of space - warehousing, manufacturing, office and reception, for instance - may require a mass notification plan that incorporates as many different components. A comprehensive system encompasses not only components, but also the infrastructure and controls that support each of them, and a well-designed action plan that will guide procedures during an emergency.

6. Showcase: Safety

Here you can link to providers of Mass Notification Systems; thanks to

Quote of the Week:

"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler."
-- Albert Einstein

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Attainium Corp
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Gainesville, VA 20155