Getting Started With Mass Notification

First Steps To Ensure A Reliable, Effective System

Mass Notification - Monitoring Station
Not sure how to get started with MNS?

The key to an effective mass notification system is to start with a proper risk analyis.

From there you would create an emergency response plan.

Only then would you start looking at products and different types of mass notification solutions.

Risk Analysis

The first step when developing a MNS/ECS solution is to perform a risk analysis.

NFPA defines a risk analysis as follows: "to characterize the likelihood, vulnerability, and magnitude of incidents associated with natural, technological, and manmade disasters and other emergencies that address scenarios of concern, their probability, and their potential consequences."

The goal is to anticipate and define the circumstances under which a mass notification system shall be utilized to protect lives. Once you have done that you have to come up with an appropriate response to any incidents.

Emergency Response Plan

The next is to address what the response to potential incidents shall be. This is where the Emergency Response Plan fits into the solution.

Throughout the FleX-Net / OpenGN research and development phases Mircom's team of industry specialists worked closely with industry stakeholders to develop a set of user requirements that are key to providing a complete solution as driven by customer and Code requirements:

  • Proven on-site and net-centric security and firewall features that ensures confidence and response reliability
  • Authority Centric Broadcast Capability: Provide a solution that focuses on who has the authority to send the MNS/ECS messaging via our unique interactive and secure graphical workstation
  • Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) interoperability for Net-Centric broadcasting via the NFPA 72 Chapter 24 Distributed Recipient Mass Notification System performance requirements
  • Enable emergency alerts that are location specific via a multi layered approach to system survivability. We do this by leveraging in-building life safety technology, on-campus exterior technology and targeted recipient net-centric broadcasting web-based technology
  • NFPA 72 Chapter 14 maintenance / training focused solution. Enable easy testing and updating of the system to ensure proper and reliable performance during a real emergency incident

Some Questions You Should Be Asking

  • Who will operate the MNS system?
  • Who will have control of the system during an emergency?
  • Who needs to be notified in the case of an emergency?
  • How flexibile is the system?
  • How fast must the messages be transmitted by the system?
  • Will emergenecy messages be pre-recorded or will an operator say them?
  • Will visual messaging such as strobes or message boards be needed?
  • What levels of reliability and survivability are needed?
  • Does the system need to be designed so that building occupants or fire alarm system can provide feedback to those in charge regarding their status?
  • Will there be interfaces required with systems other than the fire alarm/voice communication system, such as security access control?

Once you have come up with a response plan you then fine tune the available proven technology to build a reliable system that can protect lives and property.

Next Steps (System Design Stage)

Need help performing a risk analysis, developing a comprehensive emergency response plan or figuring out what technology to use to implement your mass notification system?

Contact us and we can get you in touch with a mass notification consultant who can help you perform a risk analysis and draft an emergency response plan suited to your individual needs.

Mircom's Emergency Communication Solution

Mircom can provide you with a code compliant, reliable, flexible and open mass notification system.

Mircom has the industry experience and the complete solution to reliably protect your people and buildings.

Get Your Free MNS Whitepaper Today