New Hampshire School Steps Up Its Emergency Notification Game Plan

The expansion of the school’s fire alarm system enables officials to improve communications during crises.

System Will Soon Tie in Phones
The major phases of the Derryfield school’s fire alarm and emergency communication systems upgrade are complete. However, Harper is continuing to work with BK Systems to tie in the phone system, which he says will help make the campus even more secure in a crisis management situation.

“We worked closely with Mr. Klardie and talked about how we could expand our emergency communications in the future,” Harper adds.

Beyond using the microphones on the fire alarm control panels, the school hopes to utilize the phone system to make announcements. Once completed, this phase will allow authorized personnel to pick up a phone on school property, punch in a code and use the voice communication system to relay specific messages across campus.

In addition to emergency alerts, the school will be able to utilize the messaging system in non-emergency situations, as well as for day-to-day announcements. Ongoing use of the school’s emergency communication system will ensure authorized personnel are comfortable utilizing the system – especially during emergencies.

Another future upgrade being considered is the addition of two outdoor, giant voice speakers from Whelen, located at the upper campus and one located at the lower campus. The far-reaching communication capabilities of these speakers will help to ensure everyone on the 84-acre campus hears emergency alerts.

Upgrades Prove School Is Serious About Security
While the safety and security of the students, faculty and staff at the Derryfield School is the foremost concern of administrators, the new system is also having a positive effect on the marketing of the school. With a new school year, students are participating in mock drills to get started and familiarize themselves with the new system. In addition, the school plans to conduct two drills per year.

“This new system is a great way for us to show parents that we put the safety of our students first,” Harper says. “We’re looking toward being cutting edge and setting ourselves apart from the competition. Other schools do evacuation drills and fire drills, but bringing it to this level of communication is extraordinary.”

Beth Welch is the manager of public relations and social engagement for Honeywell Fire Systems, Americas.

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