IP Lockdown & Mass Notification

"WE ARE IN LOCKDOWN"

  • School Lockdown (schools, colleges & universities)
  • Business & Industry Lockdown
  • Security & Incident Mass Notification
  • Invacuation & Control Messages
  • Incident & Security

Audio Applications | IP Lockdown & Mass Notification

Recorded message playout and audio broadcast via IP audio and Traditional audio system technologies is used to inform, warn, instruct, control and manage staff and the public. IP Lockdown and Mass Notification is used widely across business & industry as well as domestic settings.

IP Audio Lockdown

Initiating a lockdown in a school or commercial setting is likely to be as a result of a serious local incident or through instruction from local authorities or emergency services. Lockdown audio broadcast/s are used as part wider lockdown policy and procedure to help inform and co-ordinate staff, students, visitors and the public.

  • Trigger Options (eg. wall button or browser GUI)
  • IP Audio Message Player
  • IP Speakers (can include traditional speakers)
  • IP Input/Output – Door Locks & Physical Security
IP Audio Lock Down System

What is 'Lockdown'?

‘Lockdown’ is a term used to describe a specific security measure taken during an emergency situation. A lockdown event will typically prevent people from entering or leaving a site or building (eg. students from their school classrooms or workers from their place of work). Depending on the type of incident, people on site but outdoors (eg. pupils on a school playing field) would likely to be required to ‘Invacuate’ to a safe inside place of refuge. Doors, windows and other containing barriers such as fences and gates are also shut and locked. Access control policy measures are implemented to enable investigation and resolution by security and emergency services.

Lockdown events & Invacuation

A lockdown event is generally initiated as a result of a serious incident resulting in an emergency situation. Some examples of incidents likely to require invacuation and lockdown are as follows:

Invacuation lockdown likely to be required:

  • Local air pollution from a fire or chemical release 
  • Loose, roaming animal (typically a dog)
  • Instruction from local authority, emergency services or police
  • Local incident or disturbance that may affect the school or business site

General lockdown likely to be required:

  • Serious Incident or Security concern
  • Suspicious person/s, intruder/s
  • Internal threat from a student or staff member
  • Instruction from local authority, emergency services or police

Lockdown Systems & IP Audio

When a decision has been made to invacuate / lockdown has been reached, rapid communication to inform, instruct and control must follow. This communication can be made in a number of ways, but is likely to include a series of site wide audio announcements.

The following are typical device entities used to create an IP audio Lockdown system.

Lockdown Trigger: This entity is used to initiate live or recorded audio message file playout. Options include physical switches and wall button/s or virtually via an IP message player and web browser (providing additional flexibility to trigger location and independence).

Message Announcement: Some settings will use their tannoy, PA, paging microphone and a script template to make live lockdown broadcast announcements. However, most will employ a dedicated IP audio message player – ensuring timely and correct message playout during what is likely to be a challenging and pressured occasion.

IP Speakers: Having the correct type, quantity and installation location of IP speakers should ensure quality of audibility (obviously important for emergency audio messaging). The correct design and configuration of IP speakers in terms of zone details and audio prioritisation should also be considered (eg. lockdown audio should be a higher priority than background music).

Input / Output – physical security: IP relays and contact changes can be installed to interface with local building management systems and door access systems. Used in this way, the IP lockdown system can also initiate co-ordinated physical security measures. 

School Lockdown Systems & Policy

Schools, colleges and universities are often large sites, covering indoor and outdoor settings with multiple buildings. Securing schools, controlling access, entry/exit, car parking and external boundaries can therefore be a challenge.

The government Department for Education (DfE) does not currently have specific guidance for school lockdown policy and procedure, but does provide wider guidance for schools and education settings to take appropriate measures to keep staff, students and other users of the site safe (create and maintain an emergency plan).

This position essentially means that schools must consider emergency planning but need to decide for themselves if and how specific measures are required for invacuation and lockdown are neccessary for their particular site and setting. For example, a small rural school may consider risk and impact very differently to a larger urban or city school.

school lockdown system
mass notification

Mass Notification

Audio ‘mass notification’ is a broad term used to describe simple site wide announcement broadcasts. Tannoy, public address and paging are audio applications and examples of mass notification. However, as these are often used to target audio to specific rooms, areas or buildings – mass notification is generally considered separately for important broadcasts to all areas and for everyone. 

A good example of mass notification would be fire alarm testing. The business site or public setting could utilise audio mass notification to inform of the testing and that no action is necessary.  

IP Lockdown & Mass Notification

Need help? Want more details?
Need to discuss a new audio system design or project?
Want to learn more about IP audio applications?