In an emergency, we fall back on a few intuitive responses to stay safe: Sometimes we run, other times we fight – and perhaps the most important thing we can do is communicate. From the moment an emergency starts, communication plays a critical role in saving lives. It becomes especially important in enclosed environments – such as large buildings – which can shroud our understanding of events as they unfold around us.
In the event of an emergency, building occupants use communication channels to call for assistance, inform those outside about the nature of the emergency, and direct first responders where to send help. A communications network also notifies other occupants that there is danger, and what steps to take to respond to or avoid that danger.
Certainly, reliable communication is mission-critical for first responders. Regardless of who is first on the scene, police, EMTs and firefighters all need to be able to share up-to-the-second-accurate information on how an emergency is unfolding.
Because the act of communicating is a reactive aspect of how we respond to danger, supporting those communications must be a proactive aspect in the way we design our buildings. That’s why a Zinwave DAS supports wireless frequencies commonly used in public safety communication. It’s also why we support the national public safety broadband network FirstNet, and the frequencies to be used by FirstNet as it is deployed.
The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC) is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates for better indoor connectivity.
In Zinwave’s efforts to support public safety through effective in-building connectivity, we have a proactive partner. The Safer Buildings Coalition (SBC) is an independent, non-profit organization that advocates for better indoor connectivity, and supports “policies, ideas and technologies that ensure comprehensive in-building communications capabilities for [first responders] and the people they serve.”
The coalition, of which Zinwave is a member, points out that there are approximately 6 million commercial buildings in the United States alone, and, according to first responders, critical communications can break down inside them. That means there are many structures with poor connectivity that emergency personnel are required to navigate when responding to emergencies.
SBC and its partner members are active forces in improving indoor safety through better communication. In addition to advocacy at federal, state and local government levels for improved fire codes and public policy, SBC provides training and education services, and engages the tech industry to provide “technically rational and commercially feasible” solutions for building safety.
Zinwave is proud to be a member of SBC, and shares its mission of using technology to improve safety for building occupants and the first responders who enter those buildings in the line of duty. Together, we believe we can make buildings safer places to live and work, and ensure that even when our first responders must respond to indoor emergencies, proactive planning can enable efficient and successful rescue efforts, thereby improving safety through technology.