Focus: Emergency Preparedness

Mass notification is only one part of emergency communications

January 3, 2019

Getting the right message to the right people is the function of an emergency communication system. Achieving that goal at a healthcare facility requires that the emergency communication system be integrated with other communication technology systems in the building, according to an article from Building Operating Management on the FacilitiesNet website.

Informing occupants throughout a building or facility regarding a threatening situation is what emergency communications is all about. Mass notification is an electronic connection with the public that can broadcast any type of emergency announcement and offer clear and intelligible instruction. 

A fire alarm system and a mass notification system are both one-way emergency communications. The difference between them is this: A fire alarm system alerts people specifically about a fire condition, and a mass notification system informs people about any type of emergency event (e.g., fire, active shooter alert, severe weather condition, earthquake, volcano eruption, etc.) and it can be integrated with other building technologies such as a public address (PA) system as well as other unified messaging means,  including phone calls, text messaging, digital signage and PC screen alerts.

 In choosing what systems to integrate, or to determine if integration will benefit facility operations, property-specific issues and questions need to be resolved. Ultimately, the building owner or stakeholders are the ones to determine if and what integration is right for them.

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