How IoT Devices Are Improving Fire and Life Safety in the Industry
We are now at a time where software serves as a business service, not just a tool. And it’s changing everything… in a very, very good way.
IoT devices are the best tool today for everyone involved; that’s why the integration of IoT in the Fire and Life Safety industry serves as incredible leverage.
Johnson Controls explains the specific benefit of this innovation: “[IoT] connected fire alarm panels, smoke detectors, and other devices are helping to enhance safety, streamline operations, reduce costs and provide better documentation and reporting.”
Smart fire protection systems are bringing efficiency to a whole new level… fire prevention is all that more attainable. Not only do these smart systems improve the overall experience on a customer level, but as far as the Fire Protection industry is concerned, these systems increase productivity for all employees. That is to say that IoT devices are not taking anyone’s job, but instead, these devices are making it easier for the job to be done.
Whoa, hold your fire (ha-ha, get it?)… what is IoT, exactly?
By definition, the Internet of Things (most commonly referred to as IoT) is the interconnection of devices and data through the internet. Everyday objects, such as your coffee maker, your radio, or your smoke detectors, use the internet to send and receive information. By using these systematic diagnostic tools, IoT devices (which, by the way, are not limited to just WiFi-accessible platforms) send push notifications when changes are detected in the environment it’s built for.
For the Fire and Life Safety industry, this means that IoT devices literally give occupants and first responders alike faster, better notification of when possible dangerous activity is around. Basically, these devices allow for alerts to be responded to and dealt with in a more effective, and most importantly, safer and possibly life-saving way.
Literally speaking, “things” (such as fire alarm systems, fire sprinkler systems, etc) that directly correlate to the Fire and Life Safety industry identify and use data from their surrounding environments through their embedded sensors, processors, and communication hardwired software. Essentially, IoT devices exchange data and information according to the specific changes noted by the “things”… make sense?
IoT in Action: Servi(ci)ng the People
In this article written from the Industrial IoT Viewpoints page, they do a pretty great job of describing the logistics of why moving towards smart detection software is a step in the right direction.
Here’s what the IoT devices do specifically in terms of detection servicing, according to the article mentioned above: “In a central alarm system, all detectors are connected to a central controller and send a signal directly to this controller. The controller actively monitors multiple locations and when it receives alarm input from the detection devices, it activates notification devices such as horns, strobe lights, and speakers to alert the occupants.”
For Inspect Point, this means that their inspection process, and the employees doing the inspections themselves, becomes a whole new version of reliable, fast, and efficient. With their use of the IoT software and device connection, the inspection process itself is foolproof.
The connection with the devices and the use of the iPad during the inspection serves as a digital checklist… we all know how checklists work, and there’s nothing necessarily wrong with the more dated ways of doing inspections.
However, because the IoT device is connected to each specific building, knowing the ins and outs of the particular building structure and what should be working, what isn’t working, etc. makes the inspector’s job so much easier. Not only does this improve productivity for Fire and Life Safety inspectors, but the customer experience is infinitely improved.
System Diagnostics and Analytics
Incident Management at its Best
Here’s where the incident management comes in; the use of these intelligent platform systems and devices provide both building occupants and fire safety employees with the smart (and safer) tools to prevent dangerous instances from occurring.
More than likely, the device will notify the necessary folks when something in its’ environment seems amiss, and then the problem can be fixed. Or, worst case scenario, when there is a fire or something similar in immediate threat, these devices notify every party involved immediately. Everyone and everything is better protected.
Fire and Life Safety Analytics
Remember when our parents, teachers, etc. would teach us emergency protocol in case of a fire or like-emergency? Well, as an adult, you should certainly keep up with making plans in case of an emergency in your home, workplace, etc. What is there to lose when everything and more (… thanks IoT) can be gained from these smart detection systems.
What is the benefit and how does it relate to emergency planning, you ask? Well, here’s that super helpful article again, here to answer that very question for you. “Sensor and detector data along with other surveillance data can be combined with algorithms and analytics to help quickly prepare better emergency or evacuation plans.”
Okay, but what goes into this process? What exactly is analyzed? Don’t worry, I got you!
“Analytics can consider various factors such as the number of people in the building, building maps, location of the fire, rate at which fire is spreading, direction of fire to come up with better evacuation plans. Analytics based evacuation plans can prevent congestion, by guiding the crowd in different parts of the building to take the optimum route to ensure and fast and effective evacuation.”
Here’s the thing, and I’m sure you’ve already figured it out, but I’ll reiterate because it’s so important. The use of this smart (IoT) software allows for the information sent and received through IoT data to produce immediate and efficient action. Occupants, workers and first responders (and/or firefighters) are all that more prepared for disasters and their prevention.
Fire and Life Safety Protection: Industries Are So Much Better With the Help of IoT Integration
“By linking your industrial sensors, robotics, trucks, and other equipment with your enterprise applications, through the Internet of Things (IoT), companies have better visibility into what’s happening in the environment.” See? That quote, featured in a Cisco article, knows what’s up.
Look, it’s just a fact at this point. Fire and Life Safety industries are so much better off with the IoT integration. Here’s Cisco again: “Organizations are now looking at these solutions [referring to IoT device integration in the industry] to be more than fire detection and alarm systems by providing additional capabilities and becoming incident management systems.”
IoT devices and their use in fire and life safety industries, especially for Inspect Point, is saving lives. Yeah, I said it. For more information about how we’re saving lives… check out our website to see what we can do for you and your business.