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Lockdown Systems

Why Lockdown?

The UK Government’s National Counter Terrorism Security Office (NaCTSO) defines Dynamic Lockdown as:
NaCTSO logo…the ability to quickly restrict access and egress to a site or building (or part of) through physical measures in response to a threat, either external or internal. The aim of lockdown is to prevent people moving into danger areas and preventing or frustrating the attackers accessing a site (or part of)…

Ofsted logoThere is a NaCTSO guidance paper available to download here. Ofsted, the UK Schools Inspectorate, has recognised the need for educational sites to have appropriate lockdown policies in place to comply within its assessments.

Lockdown for Education, Business and other organisations

In the light of risk from terrorist, criminal – and even environmental pollution or other danger – incidents, there is an increasing understanding of the need for a protection system and procedures within an organisation whereby a lockdown is required to contain and protect employees, pupils or others present at a site. This ‘invacuation’ requirement  – as distinct from a fire alarm or other incident requiring evacuation – calls for an independent, dedicated system to signal a lockdown situation and avoid confusion with an evacuation. Choice has identified technology suitable for this purpose.

Lockdown system graphic

The Choice Solution…

By adopting a wireless (cable-free) approach lockdown systems can be installed quickly and with minimal disruption to business/school activities and the fabric of a site. Systems can also be easily reconfigured and added to if operational activities and/or physical use of different parts of a site change once a system is installed.

The key component of these lockdown systems is a long-life (up to 3-year) battery-operated sounder/beacon unit which can incorporate a push-button callpoint to trigger a lockdown. A site survey determines the number of units required. Via ‘mesh networking’ these units trigger each other when an alert is sent. The communication distance between units is up to 1km (line-of-sight) but depends on individual site conditions.

The units are pre-programmed, when ordered, with an alert signal (distinct from a fire alarm sounder), or a standard or customised lockdown voice message – or even a piece of music – to indicate lockdown procedures should be followed. Certified weatherproof units are available for exterior locations and sound volume level can be set on each unit to suit its location. Each unit also has a hard output facility that can trigger a lock or perform a similar auxiliary function.

A Master Unit is located adjacent to any PC chosen to manage the system using a software app. A central lockdown alert can be sent from this location (along with simultaneous email messages to key personnel), the system can be reset  and each unit’s battery condition monitored via a unique reference location name given to each sounder/beacon unit within a system (up to 64 units).

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