Notifier's mass notification line: 'It's all-in-one'

Friday, February 1, 2008

NORTHFORD, Conn.--Demand from installers for an all-in-one solution was the impetus behind the creation of Notifier's new line of mass notification systems, said Peter Ebersold, Notifier's director of marketing.
"We've got decades of experience with voice evacuation systems, so we've brought the pieces together [under the Notifier name]," said Ebersold.
The line builds on several existing Notifier products and includes three types of systems, each for different sized applications, including applications like K-12 schools, high-rises, mass transit hubs, as well as college, university, and manufacturing campuses. The portfolio includes strobes, LED signs and speaker clusters, which make it "more than compliant" with existing UFC guidelines for mass notification, Ebersold said. The three types of systems are: Notify-IP system; Digital Voice Command; and Fire/Voice 25-50.
The Notify-IP system uses the Internet to send live or prerecorded messages to facilities. Developed for a federal government agency, it has the capability to dispense different messages to buildings all over the world. An example of a likely application, Emersold said, would be a multi-facility international business.
In addition, this spring, Notifier will add text and email blast capabilities to its ONYXWorks system, which also supports its voice over IP notification system, Notify-IP, according to Ebersold, who noted that Notifier's had lots of interest in this capability from colleges and universities.
The second type is Notifier's Digital Voice Command for mid-sized applications, which is suitable for larger buildings and campuses. Multiple DVC systems can be linked together via the "NOTI-FIRE-NET intelligent fire alarm network" (fiber or wire-based, with a command station or multiple command station) to form a mass notification system that can inform thousands of people throughout a campus about an unfolding emergency.
A new component of the system is called Giant Voice, which allows audible broadcasts across large areas such as athletic fields and parking lots.
The third type of system is called FireVoice 25/50. It's designed for a single building or small K-8 school, multiplex cinema or church. The Giant Voice component can be added to broadcast messages throughout a building or parking lot.
Ebersold said installers wanted to have a "complete package that's tested, all works together and is readily available from us."
MidWest Alarm Services, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of PerMar security, has six locations in Iowa and Wisconsin. Ninety percent of its work is in fire, though president Dustin Smyth said he does do some security, access control, CCTV and small sound systems.
He does a fair amount of mass notification work using the Notifier system and said he appreciates the ability to get all components from one source. Midwest in January was installing a Notifier mass notification system in a large manufacturing facility that is 1.5 miles long under one roof.
He said they installed mass notification equipment that can be used for tornado warnings, and has "giant voice" capability. Because it's built on the fire system, it'll be easy in the future, "to take what we have and upgrade it to make it better or more powerful," he said.