Case Study: Emergency Notification
When an emergency situation arises, the goal is to quickly advise first-responder and properly instruct non-essential personnel. As with many sites, this ability is inadequate and in many case no longer compliant to industry standards (OSHA standard 1910.165, NFPA 72 and / or specific local regulations).
In addition, with the heightened awareness for terroristic threat, the number of alarm scenarios has increased exponentially.
One of our California-based Refinery customers had such a problem with an additional complexity of limiting the level of noise that protrudes outside of the refinery and into the residential community.
Our objective was to engineer for an Emergency Alert system comprised of indoor and outdoor notification, as well and visual indicators in high noise areas (where ambient noise level is above 85 dBA). In addition, the solution needed to encompass integration into some of the local systems for full distribution of alerts via soft messaging (IE: SMTP for email, PBX integration for phone and paging systems, and RF for 2-way radio communications).
I²oT Solutions experienced engineers performed a detailed site engineering design supported by a comprehensive sound modeling map of the entire site using state of the art technology in order to establish key locations to install indoor and outdoor notification speakers and visual strobes. Everything supported by a robust network topology leveraging both the wired network along with a secondary RF network path. Proposed installation locations considered key factors for performance output and avoidance (for community disruption) along with reliability of network. All this supported by a cost-effective deployment strategy to minimize overall construction costs.
As with any deployment there are always challenges and considerations to be made, which included;
· Engineering a solution to reach all onsite personnel without substantially disrupting the surrounding neighborhood.
o How to “meet compliance with no disruption”
· Locating optimal placement of speakers and supporting network components in non-hazardous locations with ability to annunciate messaging out to the hazardous working areas.
· As always, working safely and collaboratively with other contractors and employees on site is always a key priority.
What sets us up for success and is our extensive experience of working on an industrial site, knowing the first priority is working safely and collaboratively we also are very familiar with how sound travels on an industrial site and what is most important is ensuring an alert reaches the affected people.
“It is easy to over-engineer a solution with elevated costs. Our goal is to build a cost-effective solution that meets your needs by matching your site infrastructure and landscape with our modeling techniques.”
I²oT Solutions has experience deploying the Emergency Notification solution to various industries ranging from Refineries and chemical plants to Pulp and Paper industries.
The engineering was successfully completed with a solution offering that included leveraging the right equipment type and directivity (for indoor and outdoor speaker notification), integration to the soft-messaging (Email, Phone, pager and 2-way speakers) and establishing custom alarm activation sequences by zone. Only in the most critical emergency alerts would a full site siren activation occur. Any other contained emergency situation would advise those within proximity of the affected zone(s) with a secondary message sent to all site personnel via the soft-messaging.
A total of 8 different alarms types were designed with custom messaging logically derived on alarm selection, Zone(s) impacted and personnel instructions (different instruction for zone notification versus Soft messaging). All alarms activated via a simple-to-use, centralized, custom built console dashboard as well as strategically placed, pre-programmed pushbuttons for local zone activation.
The site has selected our engineering design and are currently in the process of deploying the solution.