From Mark Brandstein, our president
Many multi-building facilities and campuses still use old, inefficient technology for monitoring and dispatching their fire alarms. Master alarm panels from their fire alarm control panel (FACP) manufacturers often consist of a board that lights up or presents an alarm code. These codes or lights require dispatchers to figure out the type of alarm, where the initiating device is, and what they should do about it. Not the most accurate or fastest method to manage essential life safety programs.
More sophisticated alarm automation software made for commercial central alarm monitoring stations does not easily adapt to the needs of on-site campus and multi-building facility alarm monitoring. This is particularly true for college or healthcare campuses and military or industrial facilities where risks are high and on-site knowledge of a life safety incident is most critical.
Technologically-advanced, software-based, alarm management systems provide an optimal solution. These systems offer single-view screens that are easy to use and easy to learn, enabling dispatchers and administrators to become proficient faster and improving the accuracy of the response. Instead of only indicating the building where the alarm is, software alarm management systems can pinpoint the exact location of the initiating device and display the information in plain English along with the specific instructions for handling the event. This substantially enhances the efficiency of event response.
To further minimize the time spent by dispatchers on resolving an event, these systems automate necessary services such as history reporting, stakeholder notification, email and text reminders. With the increasing need for dispatchers and administrators to operate and oversee multiple building systems, harnessing new technology can reduce stress, improve event response, and potentially save lives and property.