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mass notification

Mass notification sets sights on apps over SMS

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10/18/2013

EL SEGUNDO, Calif.—SMS may have had its day as the preferred delivery method of mass notification.

Silent Knight offers MNS, CO detection training

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07/15/2013

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell recently announced that its nationwide series of fire alarm training courses has been expanded to cover IntelliKnight’s mass notification and carbon monoxide detection capabilities.

Silent Knight expands into mass notification, CO detection training

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05/15/2013

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Silent Knight by Honeywell is announcing that its nationwide series of fire alarm training courses have been expanded to cover mass notification and carbon monoxide capabilities, according to company statement.

Gamewell-FCI to hold MNS seminars

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02/08/2013

NORTHFORD, Conn.—Gamewell-FCI, Honeywell's fire alarm manufacturing division, plans to host a series of seminars aimed to educate engineers, facility managers and security directors on emergency management planning and response and the most effective use of mass notifica

Schools need to be armed … with mass notification!

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Shock. Grief. Outrage. Those are some of the feelings we’ve all experienced in the aftermath of the massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Now I’d like to add “frustration” to the list.

That’s an emotion expressed by some fire installers who say they’re frustrated that school officials don’t realize how valuable an emergency communications system/mass notification system can be in situation like the one at Sandy Hook, where a young man gained entrance to the school and shot the students and staff. Adding a mass notification component to a fire system, particularly if the system already has speakers, typically is a pretty simple job. Yet many school officials are unaware such an important option exists, fire installers say.

Among those expressing frustration is Carter Rierson, president of Best Defense Security & Fire Protection, based in Waunakee, Wis. Here’s his very articulate summary of the situation:
 

Over the summer we installed several school fire alarm systems along with dozens of card readers and cameras for schools.  No schools, however, installed an emergency communications system here in Wisconsin.

Emergency Communications Systems … are the best tool to minimize the impact of what we saw last week.  Rather than luckily having heroically push an intercom to alert the building, ECS systems are designed to do EXACTLY that.  The industry as a whole is just beginning to learn about these systems. Unfortunately, the school administrators, and the engineers who design fire alarm systems for them, have no idea what these systems are, how they work, and how they should be implemented in buildings such as this.

Much has been written about the “first responders”, the police officers, EMT’s, etc. In reality they were NOT the first responders. The first responders were the heroic teachers and staff members who ALWAYS respond first in a case like this. Unlike the other “first responders” who are fully equipped, very little has been done to equip the true first responders for a situation like this. ECS is the first step as it decreases the amount of time required to notify the staff and students, compartmentalizes the buildings, and automates the dispatch of the “first responders”.

The word needs to get out.

 

I’ll be talking more to Carter and other fire companies about what the industry can do to make sure the word does get out about ECS/MNS! Stay posted.

 

9-11 first responder: Mass notification 'might have made a difference that day'

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Friday, May 4, 2012

I just got back from an emergency management seminar in Burlington, Mass. sponsored by Notifier by Honeywell. The May 3 event opened with remarks from Thomas Von Essen, who was New York City’s fire commissioner at the time of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, about the importance of mass notification/emergency communication systems.

Von Essen spoke for only about 10 minutes, but hearing from someone so involved in the experiences of that terrible day about how mass notification/ECS might have changed the outcome in some way really made his message hit home for me.

Von Essen said that after the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993—when a truck bomb exploded below the North Tower—the emergency plan “was to keep everyone in one building if something happened to the other one.”

On Sept. 11, 2001, that plan proved fatal for some occupants of the South Tower, which was hit after the North Tower. Von Essen said that because of the plan—and the erroneous belief the South Tower was the safer place to be, even though it ended up collapsing first—when occupants of that tower reached the lobby, emergency responders sent them back up.

“Many people followed instructions. Those people were lost that day,” he said.

After 9-11, Von Essen said, “I saw a presentation on mass notification and emergency communication systems [which allow for a variety of real-time response plans based on a range of different emergency events], and I thought, ‘Wow, this is what might have made a difference that day.’”

The seminar was sixth of a series of eight such seminars being offered around the country, Peter Ebersold, Notifier’s director of marketing, told me. “It’s really an opportunity to get out and educate,” he said. The remaining two seminars are later this month, one in Walnut Creek, Calif. and one in Redmond, Wash.

The seminars, which are being taught by Jack Poole, a fire protection engineer and member of the NFPA 72 Technical Committee and which offer CPD credits, are drawing everyone from fire dealers to engineers to end users.

I got the chance to speak to some fire dealers attending.

Among those I met was Ara Beurekjian, president, Fire Command Systems of Peabody, Mass., which started in 2010 and has four employees.

One interesting project that his company is currently working on is a new Residence Inn by Marriott at Fenway Park in Boston, home of the Red Sox. He said that project involves the installation of a new Notifier smoke/CO detector with a sounder. The fact that the new product was available “was one of the factors that allowed us to provide a solution for them,” Beurekjian told me.

He said the advantages include the fact that it’s a single device, it’s fully intelligent and involves less wiring, so is easier to install and less costly for the end user.

I also spoke to Jim Yantosca Sr., founder of Northeast Integrated Systems of Malden, Mass., and his son, Jim Yantosca Jr. The company will have been in business 30 years this August and has between 15 to 22 employees.
Among the company’s clients are high rises and higher education campuses in Boston and the surrounding area.

They said mass notification is becoming an increasingly robust market in the area, and that a mass notification system can readily be added to an existing fire alarm system, even if it’s two decades old or so. Northeast made such upgrades at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. and at Northeastern University in Boston, Jim Yantosca Jr. told me. “We had them up to a situation where they could use mass notification within days.”

I also talked to Jack Welch of Wel-Design Alarm Systems of Wilbraham, Mass., a company founded by his father in 1978 that now has about 18 employees. The company, whose biggest verticals are education, prisons and hospitals, also opened an office in Rhode Island last year, he said.

He said one trend he’s noticed in fire right now is that a lot of public projects that were put on hold during the recession now suddenly have the green light. “The public sector in the fire world” is where there’s a lot of business right now, Welch said.

Mass notification goes mainstream

Recent interest spurred by factors such as codes and extreme weather
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02/06/2012

YARMOUTH, Maine—Military installations and college campuses are the two verticals best known for having mass notification systems. However, as that facet of the industry develops and grows, mass notification increasingly is in demand by a more diverse market that includes everything from an ice cream plant to K-12 schools, according to industry experts.

Life Safety Designs campus safety partner

The company now is the mass notification provider for three state universities in Florida
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02/24/2011

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.—Life Safety Designs recently won a contract to provide a campus mass notification system for the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.

Heeding trend pays dividends for Great Lakes

Company says lesson is: Be prepared to integrate fire and mass notification
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02/03/2011

BUFFALO, N.Y.—Being ahead of the mass notification curve  has paid off for Great Lakes Building Systems, helping it win contracts worth about $850,000, according to company president John Wojdan.