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Network-based Alarm System Sends Silent Alert

A Spokane, WA company has developed a computer network-based alarm system that allows users to trigger an emergency alarm through their computers to send a silent alert to all other users logged into the same network. Pentad Systems' LANalarm could complement text messaging-based notification systems, which tend to have a lag between the time the emergency is communicated to administrators and the notification is actually sent out to participants.

LANalarm has multiple alarm types, which are set off with a couple of keystrokes. The first alarm type is a "Help Me" alarm. This signifies an emergency where help is needed in a particular office. The second alarm type is a "Please Evacuate" alarm. Triggering this alarm will alert all office personnel to evacuate in an orderly manner. A third alarm option is a "Lockdown" alarm, which alerts users to stay in their rooms or offices and lock the doors.

When the alarm is initiated, an alarm panel flashes on user screens. According to an article in the Spokane Journal of Business, only an IT administrator can shut the alarm off once it is triggered, preventing a user from simply shutting it off without really noticing it.

Company President Randy Nichols told the Journal that the software has been tested at a Washington state agency in a pilot project. He said the program was also in use in private schools in the Spokane area and would be tested by a school district shortly.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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