Advances in technology have always come with more advantages than disadvantages, which is why people are always so quick to embrace them. One of these many advances has revolutionized the way in which people are able to send and receive information. This advancement is in the form of mass notification systems. These systems can be used in different capacities, by different properties to achieve various results. However, one of its best uses is as part of a crisis communication tool which can help enhance commercial evacuation procedures. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ways a mass notification system can accomplish this.
1. Protecting Your Tenants
Tenant safety and well-being are at the heart of every property, and mass notification systems ensure that even under the direst circumstances, property management can keep their tenants safe from harm. One of the biggest challenges one can face during an evacuation is faulty communication. If people are not notified to evacuate in time, or if only a certain number of people can be notified, there is a chance that the loss of life could occur.
Mass notification systems give owners and managers the ability to notify all their tenants of an evacuation. Instead of having to manually evacuate the building, one can rely on the features of a mass notification which will help them get the message out fast. This system also makes it easier for your tenants to follow evacuation procedures because they will always be told where to go and what to do so that no one is left in a vulnerable, dangerous position.
2. Rapid Threat Response
There is no universal reason for an evacuation to occur in a commercial setting. This means that there are several different scenarios that could arise that could call for an evacuation. A mass notification system ensures that there is a comprehensive threat-response strategy in place. Allow me to explain this a bit further.
If your property is under siege by an armed gunman, a mass notification system gives you the ability to notify all your tenants of this threat which allows them to initiate the appropriate response, which should be detailed in your safety plans. If there is a fire, a mass notification system can aid you in spreading information on which exits are blocked off and which ones are still accessible. Essentially, the system acts as a unique tool for ensuring that everyone is comprehensively responding to the threat at hand. It is important to audit your safety plans and procedures on a regular basis. If you are unsure about how to audit your security and evacuation procedures, consult with safety officials or commercial locksmiths that can help make sure your locks and other safety measures compliant.
3. Complying With Safety Regulation
Safety is an immensely important issue, which is why there are regulations in place to ensure that people in commercial workplaces are safe during evacuations. Due to the fact that there are different regulations for different commercial spaces, it can be challenging to design a comprehensive evacuation procedure. However, with the aid of mass notification systems, many of these safety regulations are met and fulfilled.
These systems give property managers the luxury of being able to spread information and awareness in timely and unified fashion, which goes a long way to help keep tenants safe. For instance, most safety regulations dictate the way people should navigate a building in the case of an evacuation. In the heat of the moment, it can be very tricky to get everyone on the right track due to fear and emotions. Mass notifications systems ensure that everyone is notified of where they need to go and where they need to be during specific junctures of the evacuation process.
4. Rapid Response Time
Time is one of the most valuable assets in an evacuation procedure. If people are given enough time to react to an approaching threat, they will be able to galvanize and evacuate more expediently, which can lead to more lives being saved.
In some cases, it might not be best to broadcast your emergency evacuation alert to every member of the building because this allows panic to spread. Instead, you can send a mass notification to pre-designated safety managers who will help round up tenants and direct them on how to safely evacuate the building. This simple measure helps prevent the spread of panic and allows the evacuation process to run smoothly.
5. Reduces The Spread Of False Information
The spread of misinformation is a true hazard to evacuation procedures. In order to carry out an evacuation effectively, every tenant in a building has to be on same page so that no one is left straggling behind. However, it is very easy for the wrong information to be relayed during an evacuation.
Mass notification systems are important because they make sure that tenants are receiving their information from one trusted source. By using one source, a property can reduce the spread of wrong evacuation orders. It might sound trivial but in a moment where every bit of information counts, a simple action taken on wrong information can lead to hazardous results.
6. Notification Acknowledgment
Notification acknowledgment is a truly unique feature of mass notification systems. During evacuations (and any other emergency procedure) there is always the question of whether or not people are able to receive the necessary information to get themselves to safety. In some cases, there is never enough time to notify people. In other cases, even if you do notify people, they either do not get the message or do not get it on time.
Thanks to mass notification systems, properties will be able to see which of their tenants received and read the evacuation message. This process allows them to keep track of everyone who has been notified and will highlight those who have not yet received or read their evacuation message. It might not sound like much, but this allows management to attempt to reach said tenants again so that no one is left behind. Furthermore, if there is ever a cause for legal action, owners can use their acknowledgment receipts as proof.
7. Increased Reach
This last point has been touched on in several of the other sections above, but it is still a key enhancement that deserves to be discussed on its own. A mass notification system helps managers increase the number of people that they can reach when they wish to initiate their notification procedures. This is a key factor in making sure that everyone has access to the necessary information.
Aside from allowing you to increase the number of people you can reach, these notification systems help you hone in on specific people. At some properties (depending on the emergency), the evacuation protocol will dictate that the necessary information is handed to managers and safety personal before it is disseminated to every individual. As I stated earlier on, this helps stem the spread of panic. Increased and specific reach increases the likelihood that all the right people are being given the information which, in turn, decreases the probability of loss of life.
Mass notification systems have many integral uses, but I personally believe that they are best served to enhance the safety and security of people. In commercial settings, these systems enhance the protocols that are already in place and they go a long way to reducing the number of casualties that may result from an emergency evacuation. It is important for owners and managers to always ensure that their current evacuation plans can incorporate a notification system before they invest in one.