A hospital in Florida lost an entire supply of skin grafts because the refrigerator they were stored in malfunctioned, and a freezer malfunction in Massachusetts severely damaged a third of the world’s largest collection of brain samples being used to study autism.
Considering the importance of blood, tissues, organs, vaccines and other medications to patient safety and care, temperature monitoring in hospitals is critical to protecting these valuable inventories from loss. Temperature logging also is a regulatory requirement, but a large number of hospitals aren’t compliant.
The above are worst-case scenarios but proof that along with life safety, security and mass notification, a situational awareness strategy also should include environmental monitoring – and not just for hospitals.
From HVAC systems, power generators and refrigeration units to the presence of water, smoke and carbon monoxide among other substances, sensors exist to monitor just about anything.
If all of your sensors and environmental controls are integrated with SARA, then real-time alerts will be generated if a system fails, a sudden change occurs, or a hazardous substance is detected. With alerts detailing the situation delivered to responders via their designated communication devices, potential threats to people, property, business operations and convenience/comfort can be investigated and hopefully fixed before an emergency occurs.
Let’s look at a convenience/comfort example, something of concern to our hospitality customers. When pilot lights on Franke Tobey Jones’ water and heating boilers went out, SARA alerted the maintenance staff, so they could be relit quickly. Residents never knew there was an issue because it was addressed so quickly. The same goes for hotel/spa guests who never have to see a “pool closed” or “whirlpool out of service” sign.
And what about manufacturing? Companies like Dannon use SARA for environmental monitoring in their plants, ensuring business operations and/or food production isn’t compromised.
You also can use environmental monitoring to reduce heating, cooling and lighting costs.
Thanks for sticking with us for this blog series about situational awareness for risk management.