Sos Help Points - Education
This article considers how SOS Telephones can improve safety inside University Campuses, in Car Parks or areas where Students may feel vulnerable or unsafe at night. This document also looks at the benefits with using VoIP Emergency Phone systems compared to analogue devices and other critical issues that needs to be addressed when selecting an effective telephone solution.
A Challenge for Educational Facilities
New accountability measures. New performance initiatives. Increased focus on educational achievement. Less budgets. Now more than ever, it is important to find ways of reducing costs, increase efficiencies whilst delivering improved educational services.
Increased focus on Security
Over the last few years, there has been several high profile violent attacks inside schools grounds and on university campuses leading to an increased focus on school safety. Educational establishments are now facing mounting pressure to look after students whilst they are on the school grounds. Deploying security guards and large scale CCTV solutions are often prohibitively expensive and many institutions are therefore searching for alternative efficient ways of providing student safety, whilst decreasing administrative costs.
Reduce incidents and improve emergency response time with SOS Help Point Telephones
The installation of SOS help point and emergency telephones in schools, universities and campuses is a tried and tested method of improving student welfare. Studies have shown that over 75% of the public think that the SOS telephone act as a deterrent to potential crime, and over 80% of students feel reassured by the presence of SOS telephones.
Aside from providing reassurance to members of the public, there are two key unique benefits with using SOS help point telephones in educational facilities. First, by virtue of using the SOS telephone, the telephone location is immediately known to central control room staff, whilst students calling helplines via mobile telephone device do not necessarily know their exact location at the time of the call. This means that control room staff can pinpoint the exact location of the incident and send out a faster emergency response. Second, the autodial on handset lift feature means that the caller simply have to lift the handset to automatically be connected to the control facility. This means that students do not have to worry about what number to dial in case of an emergency.
How do SOS help point telephones work?
The SOS help point telephones are typically connected to a 24 hour remote monitoring centre and the telephones can both be used for communication in case of emergency, or for general public information purposes. Typically SOS emergency or help point telephones are installed:
- Inside University Campuses
- In car parks
- Throughout playing fields and outdoor areas
- In other places where students may feel vulnerable or unsafe at night
In the remaining part this article we shall look at some of the issues that needs to be addressed when selecting your SOS help point telephone solution.
VoIP vs. Analogue Telephones?
In educational facilities, the telephone of choice will almost always be a VoIP telephone. There are many reasons for this, but mainly, since the VoIP telephone can use IP data networks it has a number of unique features compared to traditional analogue systems.
First, since the VoIP telephone uses IP fiber networks to carry voice communications, it has additional software features which makes such a system very attractive in terms SOS Help Points in particular. For example, all Norphonic Heavy Duty VoIP telephones comes with a self monitoring and fault check function as standard. This is a highly useful feature, as it allows central control room staff to automatically know if the telephones is working at any given time. The control room can also get information about the telephone components, if the telephone hook is left in an on/off position etc. This is obviously an important safety feature in many SOS Help Point installations as, by comparison, there is no way of knowing if a comparable analogue telephone will work until you actually need to use it.
Second, with Norphonic Heavy Duty VoIP Telephones, the control room staff can use the Remote Management Feature to upload software updates from a central location, switch the telephone on/off, or control other telephone components remotely, thereby slashing the maintenance costs usually encountered with comparable analogue systems.
Third, since a VoIP telephone can use the existing LAN / IP data networks to carry voice, it offers much lower installation and operating costs than traditional analogue telephones.
What to look for in a Heavy Duty VoIP Telephone solution?
There are many issues that needs to be addressed prior to commissioning a VoIP system for educational facilities, such as evaluating the installation environment, functionality and temperature ranges. Below are some key pointers to look at when choosing your VoIP Telephone:
- Is the telephone weather resistant? SOS help point telephones are often placed outside or in areas with no or little supervision and therefore need to be robust to deal with attempted vandalism as well as exposure to rain, extreme temperatures and dust. An IP rating to IP65 is therefore recommended for outdoor educational applications. See definition of Ingress Protection in the below Glossary for further information.
- Is the telephone based on open SIP standards which will allow connectivity to your existing networks and systems? IF the product is based on open standards, this will also mean that the product installation can be upgraded or changed in the future without having to change the entire system.
- Does the telephone incorporate a self monitoring and fault check function? This means that the status of the telephones can be monitored from a remote location, saving you considerable maintenance costs.
- Does the telephone incorporate VSQ - Voice Sound Quality? This is a standard feature in all Norphonic telephone systems, ensuring loud and clear sound, even in noisy ambience areas.
- Is the telephone condensation proof? –This can otherwise lead to severe problems in operation as water can easily form inside the unit, affecting performance.
- Does the VoIP telephone incorporate a QoS – Quality of Service functionality? This feature, found in all Norphonic telephones, guarantees a certain level of performance in a data flow, ensuring impeccable delivery of voice communications in an IP Network.
- Is the telephone CE approved? CE marking means that the product is certified to meet EU consumer safety, health or environmental requirements. End users should be aware that some telephones use the intentionally confusing term ”CE” for ”China Export”, and the only way consumers can check this is to closely examine the CE mark/ logo as the two logos are very similar.
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Relevant Information Links
- SOS Help Points in Educational Facilities Application Guide
- Norphonic Products (suitable for SOS Help Point applications)
- Norphonic Corporate Brochure