Why fire alarm systems are ideally positioned to offer the best value and most efficient implementation of emergency communications.
Not so long ago bells, horns, and sirens alerted building occupants to danger. More recently, pre-recorded broadcasts and flashing strobes provided warning. Today a new solution is emerging; a solution that takes into account the intensifying nature of threats and the increasing complexity of built space.
The development of emergency communications, also known as mass notification, as we know it today can be traced to June 25, 1996 when terrorists exploded a fuel truck adjacent to a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia. The eight-story building housed U.S. Air Force personnel. In all, 19 servicemen and one Saudi were killed, and 372 others were wounded.
A year later, then Secretary of Defense, William Cohen, issued the Khobar Tower Report. This document concluded that there were lapses in force protection, no effective alarm systems, no emergency communications capabilities, and that damage and loss of life could have been minimized if there had been a plan in place to respond to the threat.