Critical incident notification capability – don’t put it off

by Editor
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Critical incident notification systems are proving increasingly important for facility managers across the board.

Too often, property managers fail to realise they don’t have the ability to react to a critical incident until it’s too late. This needs to change. Organisations must move from common practice to best practice.

It’s timely to reflect on the Australian Government’s guidance in the Strategy for Protecting Crowded Places from Terrorism. The recommendation relating to ‘reliable emergency communication systems throughout the location’ is particularly important.

It is often not until a major incident occurs that organisations realise they don’t have effective capability to instantly notify all their staff and other stakeholders of emergencies or critical concerns. Notifications need to be quickly received by staff. In some contexts, other people such as customers, tenants, students and parishioners also need to personally receive notifications relating to life-safety situations or failure in essential services.

Notifications need to be received irrespective of the person’s location (even if they’re off-site), in quick time and with receipt guaranteed. Relying only on text messaging and EWIS is not the solution. This limited capability is no longer deemed sufficient or appropriate for some scenarios. Reliability requires an ecosystem of solutions to deliver and receive notifications. Relying on a single source of notification such as from a security office may also prove to be inadequate, unreliable and may contribute to a catastrophic consequence.

The need for mass emergency / critical incident ecosystem capability applies to all contexts in which people work, study or visit. This includes CBD commercial buildings, distribution centres, research and production facilities, critical infrastructure sites, hospitals, shopping centres, schools, universities, places of worship, cultural centres and entertainment venues.

Owners and managers of property portfolios must consider further enabling their crisis management team by including crisis team members as recipients of the mass emergency / critical incident notifications from each facility. Real-time and reliable information makes for better decision-making during a crisis.

Harris Security Management has entered into a strategic relationship with the US software company Singlewire. Now we can utilise the InformaCast platform and design innovative solutions tailored to each client’s context. Our approach is to leverage and integrate on-premises systems, most of which already exist in a traditional workplace, such as IP phone systems, emergency alarms, digital signage and even your IP video surveillance system cameras.

Should you be developing a business case for a mass emergency / critical incident notification system, then the International Standard ISO 22322Societal Security – Emergency Management – Guidelines for Public Warning, may prove useful.

You are urged to be more proactive on this issue – gain more information.

To discuss your specific needs, please contact us at Harris Security Management – [email protected] or phone 02 9560 9933.


Image: 123RF’s Tomasz Wyszolmirski, ©

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