When adding an alarm management system to your operations, you may want to consider the following software customization so the system can work better in your environment. These customization are necessary whether the customer selects to use the software from the same equipment manufacturer or from an independent software vendor. As explained above, the difference is really in the associated service cost in implementing these customization.
Many facilities departments follow good management practices to ensure proper handling of fire alarm incidents and other facilities related incidents. For fire alarm incidents, the handling staff should record all relevant information about the incident and reported all follow up activities for remedying the incident. The purpose of these good management practices is to ensure accountability, safety and risks are managed. For fire related incidents, local fire codes require proper reporting and follow ups.
Many organizations would like to integrate alarm management systems with an incident tracking system. This way when in a fire alarm situation, the system automatically creates an incident with all relevant information and triggers and tracks the appropriate follow up procedures. Such integration saves manual data entry work that otherwise would have to be done separately. Manual data entry is error prone and this integration eliminates these possible errors.
Different organizations handle incidents differently. Therefore it is inevitable that some customization of the alarm management system will be needed so it can interface with an existing or new incident tracking system.
Importing of device data and facility map
Organizations likely have different formats for keeping their fire alarm device data and facility map drawings. While some organizations may use Microsoft Excel for device data and AutoCAD for facilities map drawings, other may have their device data on paper and PDF for facilities map drawings.
In order to implement an alarm management system, data needs to be imported into the system. Some customization of the system may be necessary in order for it to successfully import the data.
Automatic formatting of test log data into the format required by local fire codes
Per local fire code requirements, fire alarm device test logs needs to be in certain formats. Many organizations would like to customize their alarm management systems so test log data coming from the system are in the required format.
Alarm notification policy
In a fire alarm situation, an alarm management system must notify the incident command staff immediately. But the ways the notifications should be sent out may vary in different organizations. In most cases, some customization of the alarm management system configuration is necessary.
For some organizations, just showing the fire alarm message in one console computer would be enough. Some organizations may prefer a more robust notification procedure. For example, they may require sending emails and SMS messages to the incident commander’s phone. They may also require multiple consoles in different locations around the site so all relevant facilities personnel can see the graphical displays and be aware of the alarms.
Many organizations would like to have their alarm management system to securely allow access to remote users. This way, in an alarm situation, facilities personnel at home will be able to access the system, be aware of the alarm and assist with the handling of situation.
Some customization in the alarm management system is likely needed in order to set up the necessary internet connection, user access and network configuration.