Politics

How Safe Is Your Building? Alert System Can Save Lives

Bombs. Armed intruders. Fires. These are real events that can threaten your safety, even your life, in the building where you work.

Experts agree that if you know what’s going on and what actions to take, you have a good chance of escaping a dangerous situation. However, distributing speedy and accurate emergency information to building occupants, police officers, firefighters, and emergency medical professionals is a constant challenge for building owners and managers.

In pursuit of workable, cost-effective solutions, the security industry is taking note of a new emergency alert approach known as the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS. Activated through a special Web page or toll-free number, IRIS can reach thousands of people in a matter of seconds through the contact methods people use the most, such as home and cell phones, e-mail, digital pagers, PDAs, and fax machines.

With IRIS, a uniform message, in both voice and text formats, reaches building managers, occupants, and emergency responders. When it encounters busy lines or no answer, IRIS continues to redial until it makes contact. Recipients can pre-select any of 10 different language preferences.

This state-of-the-art alert system also sends important yet non-emergency information to building occupants alerting them of adverse weather conditions, building maintenance plans, or changes in parking restrictions, for example. IRIS distributes these paperless messages quickly and verifies their receipt.

IRIS requires no hardware, software, or system installation for setup. In the event of an emergency, people designated to send the messages can access the service from any phone or Internet-connected computer from a safe location.

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