Mass notification (MN) is the generic term given to a wide range of communications systems whose main purpose is to facilitate simultaneous communication to a large number of people. While MN services are often associated with emergency situations, this is not necessarily the case. MN services can be used in a variety of settings and for a variety of purposes.
MN can be used in various train, subway and airport facilities to make announcements for schedule changes, missing person’s reports or other announcements of interest to the public. MN services are useful in parking lot settings as an added safety measure. MN communications are useful in large campus settings such as hospitals and university campuses to notify all campus attendees for emergency or other situations. Mass notification systems are connected to a central control area, often the security department of the particular campus setting or to a local police department in the absence of a local security department. All MN stations, if activated by an emergency or talk button can be located on a web-based map of the area so that monitoring officials know immediately the location of the activated MN station. Response can be made immediately through a two-way voice communication between the monitoring station and the scene of the incident.
Mass notification systems come in a variety of configurations. Equipment can be free standing or wall mounted and can be “hardened” for use in harsh environments such as mines or other industrial settings. MN stations are highly visible, generally incorporating some type of flashing blue light or speaker system to notify the public.
MN stations can be equipped with video surveillance cameras and VoIP connectivity allowing the monitoring station to be fully aware of the local surroundings and events as they are happening. Mass notification systems can range in complexity and functionality depending on the application. Simple two-way voice communication may be appropriate in some areas while a more complete solution offering lighting solutions along with video surveillance and VoIP functionality may be required in other areas. For the MN system that is best suited for your purpose it is recommended that the services of an accredited security professional be used.