As a risk management strategy, situational awareness includes three primary components: monitoring, alerting and reporting, which we’ve just covered in previous blog posts. Now I want to talk about the four major outcomes/application areas for situational awareness, with life safety being No. 1.
Now “life safety” is pretty self explanatory, but it’s a large application area. So today I’m going to talk about duress alerting, which means summoning help urgently, and it’s often the fist step in implementing situational awareness.
Duress alerting falls into two categories: fixed and mobile.
Fixed duress buttons are installed as permanent fixtures and used to indicate a specific or coded alert. With integration to nurse call, infant abduction and telemetry devices, among other life safety systems, SARA can help protect people from injury and speed emergency response.
Mobile duress devices are carried by individuals, usually worn on a chain around the neck, in a pocket or on a belt. These devices aren’t used to issue specific or coded alerts, but simply to indicate that immediate help is required. Responders won’t know what the emergency is — just that there is one.
With either fixed or mobile duress, our SARA automated alerting engine monitors the alerting devices and then automatically initiates alerts, depending on the nature of the triggering event/alarm. Because SARA creates a wireless “bubble” over a facility and its grounds, the software also can provide location data as part of an alert.
SARA’s Positioning System (SPS) helps responders locate an alarm source more quickly. It works by creating a multidimensional model – or vector map and key – of a facility’s wireless infrastructure, established with a network of sensors, fixed and/or mobile alarm-producing devices, and repeaters for virtual points of interest (POIs).
When an alarm is triggered, SARA mathematically compares the device in alarm to the vector map and key of named POIs, providing the three closest mathematical matches. The more POIs, the more accurate the location data. And it’s easy to change or add POIs thanks to the software’s simple interface.
Come back next week because we’re going to talk about other life safety alarm systems and how to integrate them for situational awareness.