mass notification code compliance
Alertus Technologies’ unified facility notification system is compliant with many mass notification codes and mandates.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Alertus is widely recognized for its innovative emergency notification assistive technologies serving individuals with disabilities, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Gallaudet University, which serves the largest campus population of deaf students, faculty, and staff in the world, utilizes the Alertus notification system throughout its campus. Key components of the solution include:
Alert Beacons, wall-mounted audible visual notification appliances, flash and sound to signal attention and display lifesaving notification on the integrated LCD message display.
Alertus Desktop Notification flashes alerts on all or select computer screens, taking over the whole screen with a warning that is impossible to miss.
Digital signage override transforms signage throughout facilities into intelligent emergency alerting appliances.
Explore why it is important to consider ADA and other mass notification system codes when selecting a unified facility notification system.
The Clery Act requires educational institutions to provide timely warnings when emergencies pose a threat to faculty, staff, or student safety. Institutions are also required to publish their policies regarding timely warnings in their Annual Campus Security Report. Learn more about how the Clery Act can improve campus safety.
Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)
In October 2009, the U.S. Department of Education released long-awaited mass notification regulations. The regulations come as the result of a mounting wave of shootings at higher education institutions. With these regulations in effect, universities and colleges will be the first entities mandated under federal statutes to issue emergency warnings. Alertus offers a system that provides comprehensive, immediate emergency notification coverage that fulfills the requirements for timely warning and emergency notification under the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA). Learn more about the importance of mass notification codes and mandates when selecting an emergency notification system.
National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72)
In 2010 the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72) was updated to incorporate in-building mass notification systems (MNS) such as Alertus. Alert Beacons meet this need by notifying building occupants of all hazards, including weather emergencies; terrorist attacks; biological, chemical, or nuclear emergencies; and other threats. Alert Beacons are specifically highlighted in the 2016 NFPA 72 handbook (Exhibit 24.10) on emergency communications systems as an effective in-building alerting solution. The solution offers greater intelligibility than conventional public address systems and is practical for retrofitting older facilities with its reliable wireless options.
With respect to visual notification, the NFPA 72 code states:
Where audible notification is provided, MNS shall also provide visible notification information to serve the hearing impaired and for high-noise areas (126.96.36.199).
Textual and graphical visible notification appliances shall be permitted to be used for primary or supplemental notification (188.8.131.52).
Distributed recipient (e.g., cell phones, PCs) MNS alerting shall not be used in lieu of required audible and visual alerting MNS but shall be integrated whenever possible (24.7.1).
The code recommends that MNS include two forms of communication, at least one from Layer 1 (such as Alert Beacons), and a secondary method from one of the other layers (24.3.8). Personal alerting such as cellular, computer pop-ups, email, and autodialers are classified as Layer 2 because such methods are "not immediate and intrusive." The code also requires the use of visual/tactile notification appliances in addition to high intensity strobes in sleeping and guest room for those with profound hearing loss; Alert Beacons fulfill this requirement as a single integrated unit.
NFPA 72 has evolved in recent code cycles to allow public address systems and other facility infrastructure to be integrated into the fire alarm system. The fully integrated Alertus system accomplishes this with its innovative text-to-speech fire alarm and public address system interface. Learn more about implementing mass notification technologies in compliance with NFPA 72.
Rehabilitation Act – Section 508
Alertus is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to emergency notification alerts. The Alertus solution is designed with a variety of alerting capabilities, including audio and visuals such as text-to-speech and flashing lights. We also support JAWS (Job Access With Speech), a computer screen reader program that allows both blind and visually impaired users to read the screen with a text-to-speech output.
The Rehabilitation Act requires Federal agencies to make their electronic and information technology accessible to people with disabilities. Section 508 was specifically enacted to eliminate barriers in information technology, to make available new opportunities for people with disabilities, and to encourage development of technologies that will help achieve these goals.
Agencies must give disabled employees and members of the public access to information that is comparable to the access available to others.
Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC)
The Alertus solution meets and exceeds all Unified Facilities Criteria (UFC) requirements for providing real-time information to all building occupants or personnel in the immediate vicinity of a building during emergency situations. Alert Beacons serve as cost-effective standalone notification appliances that can control numerous supplemental appliances. The Alertus solution directly or indirectly interacts with most autonomous control units (ACUs) and fire alarm control panels. Alertus meets all UFC requirements for mass notification systems while enhancing capabilities through next-generation technologies.
Alertus also complies with the International Building Code and offers a variety of outdoor notification solutions for public venue emergency alerting—including “giant voice” high power speaker array (HPSA) towers and Alertus self-amplified “horn” style speakers.