IFMA Slice of Orange Newsletter Mar.24

When Every Second Counts

It’s an emergency because you aren’t forewarned. The facilities manager must respond to every one of these emergencies. We aren’t talking about the CEO complaining about the temperature in the board room, that’s an emergency that might affect your annual performance review but nobody else will be harmed. The emergencies that impact many include fires, water leakage and flooding, hazardous material spills in industrial facilities, missing person in a mall or airport and an active shooter on a campus. While you can do preventive maintenance to reduce the incidents of water leakage, it would be harder to predict human behavior if a person brings a weapon into your facility.

For most emergencies, to safeguard those inside premises, often times people outside those premises have to engage and solve the emergency situation. Typically, those first responders include fire personnel, police, medical personnel, and others. They are almost always never familiar with your buildings, grounds, sport fields, or parking lots. As soon as they arrive, they will seek out the facilities manager, the safety director, the head of the organization and seek information including, where is the incident, where are the emergency equipment, who is on premises, in what buildings are people at, in what floor or classrooms are the students at, where are the exits, where is the safe gathering zone, etc. They need this information right away; they need accurate information to make good decisions and save lives and property. Many facilities have cameras that show their images on a screen in the administration building or in the IT room or security desk; some facilities have dozens of cameras; too often it is hard for someone in the building to direct a first responder to the physical location of the camera or explain where the camera is pointing at. The emergency personnel want to know where a particular building or classroom or cafeteria is; today the answer to this question in most facilities, is buried in a paper map, on a blueprint or it is a map on the wall. There is no time to explain this in detail; there aren’t enough the map that each person can grab and take with them; one wrong turn or delay in reaching the building on fire, can be costly. Every second counts.

This is not a hypothetical scenario, right as you are reading this article, there are facilities somewhere in the country that is dealing with an emergency. But you can prepare for it. If you want to locate a room or shut off valve or emergency equipment or lifesaving apparatus and do it in seconds, you can invest in an inventory map of your facility; it’s an app on your phone, it will guide you to where you need to go like the GPS does in your phone. Its accurate, its dynamic – you can mark off the hot zones and reroute personnel to newly designated rally points and collection areas. When every second counts, a facilities
protector app like InMapz will be your friend. We can’t prevent all emergencies, but we can be prepared, we can save lives.

Learn More