Your Emergency Communications plan is nothing if it doesn’t include power
In an emergency, communication is critical and can be the difference between a safe exit and a headline grabbing disaster. Building a fault-proof system can be an overwhelming task, and common questions when setting up power protection for emergency communications include:
– How can we be 100% sure mass notifications will go out?
– What government regulations should be taken into account when purchasing a UPS?
– Should a specific type of UPS be used? How much backup time do we need? Read on to find out.
The importance of Communication
Businesses and campuses must be able to communicate to everyone in a facility, and the larger the campus, the more urgent the need for a comprehensive emergency communications plan.
All educational institutions must be able to communicate with students and faculty. Retail stores must communicate with employees and customers. Businesses must communicate with their employees. Without emergency communications and mass notification systems, people are further endangered and liability issues are magnified.
Ensuring Power Availability
All components within an emergency communications system depend on the availability of electricity in order to fully function. During any type of disaster, or even in a temporary power outage, it is absolutely essential that communications are not interrupted.
Uninterruptible Power Supplies
This can be accomplished with the installation of an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), which provides protection from all power problems such as surges and spikes, but also provides battery backup power during a power outage. Back-up power is a critical component of any emergency communications system. Learn more about UPSs in our Newbie’s Nook Series >>
In many states and localities, emergency communication systems require a 24-hour quiescent load capability, meaning that when the system is not being used, there is at least 24 hours of battery backup capacity should power fail. Other mandated regulations may require a minimum of fifteen minutes of full-load alarm capacity from a UPS. These systems may also have to function at long periods of time during an emergency.
Actual use time may be 30-60 minutes, but typically only a partial load is required when an announcement is being made. The code requirements should be evaluated by a system designer to determine if a larger capacity or longer battery back-up time should be provided or is required by state, local or federal regulations. Learn more about these regulations in our Free Security & Power White Paper.