Here are some of the major differences between a dedicated HARDWARE solution, that ASR offers, vs all other app only based products.
Studies have proven that performing simple tasks, such as entering your passcode into your phone, then dialing 911 can be nearly impossible for most people when their lives are in danger. App activation requires you to unlock your phone, then scroll to find the app that you never use, open it, then scroll through the list of options, locating the type of emergency that pertains to your situation, then entering the number of fields required to identify and validate your request for that particular emergency response.
All of this, assumes that your mobile device is on your person during the onset of the event. NOTE: Most schools do not allow students or teachers to conduct classes with cellphones turned on and in hand.
The ASR Solution
The methodology utilized to place the ASR Alert button stations is different for every client and/or organization. By having a dedicated button that is mounted in a convenient location (such as in a classroom or office door) or wearing a pendant, staff can activate an alert to staff and provide law enforcement with all of the necessary information to respond with the PRESS OF A BUTTON. By depressing the ASR Alert Button, Law Enforcement Dispatch know the location name, address, location within the facility, and type of emergency.
When a facility has hundreds of employees, parents, and students on its platform, accidental activation is inevitable. Mistaken activation of the App also alerts those not at the location to receive these alerts. Non-law enforcement persons (parents or other staff) are now rushing to the scene, possibly armed, ultimately creating a dangerous situation for police, students, staff, and others.
The ASR Solution
When our system is initiated, alerts go out to police dispatch and people only within the building. Additionally, unique sounding sirens/blue strobes begin. With the ASR System, people are alerted instantly and response to the situation is rapidly initiated.
Having dedicated hardware that is readily accessible and easy to operate is KEY when it comes to life-saving tools. For example, the U.S. government and Fire Safety professionals DO NOT allow apps to activate Fire Alarms within a building. Why would you rely on an app to alert your personnel of a life-threatening situation and be uncertain that law enforcement has been notified and is responding?
Apps are NOT a better solution than what ASR delivers and provides.
Apps are fully dependent on WIFI or cellular for connectivity. Reliability can quickly become an issue. After you’ve sent your message to law enforcement, how are you sure that it was received? Does dispatch first try to contact the location and verify before sending the police? This significantly slows down police response time, and this may also increase false alarms.
The ASR Solution
ASR utilizes both, cellular and Hard-Wired broadband connections to communicate events to all approved personnel and a tablet mounted in Dispatch. In addition, ASR provides in-person training to all participating law-enforcement agencies prior to going live at any organization within their jurisdiction.
In a worst-case scenario, if all cell towers go down, electricity goes out, and even wired internet is destroyed, the ASR System hardware is 100% independent and will still activate sirens and strobes – alerting everyone on the property that there is an emergency and what type, allowing staff to secure doors and initiate internal protocols. Ultimately, reducing the number of lives lost and possibly intimidating the assailant.
Allow yourself to be placed in a real-life situation.
Now, the app is activated about a shooter in the building. How would you know?
Your phone is not activated to the alert. There are NO sirens, NO strobes, or any other method of providing you with an alert to warn you of the danger.
What if you have a disability that prevents you from quickly or easily viewing an alert on your phone?
The ASR Solution
By utilizing dedicated sirens & strobes (combined with optional alerts on mobile devices), the situation is clear to anyone. The response time is going to be incomparably faster. Saving Time Saves Lives.
While some are applauding apps as an effective solution, as laws spread from state-to-state, the requirements are not going to be satisfied by an app-only solution as is evidenced by bills that have already passed requiring a dedicated hardware solution like ASR. Ultimately, facilities that invest in these types of low-budget, less-effective solutions, will soon be forced to re-invest in the proper equipment that will satisfy these needs.
As of today, ASR offers the best solution in the industry. Our reliable, redundant, and complete coverage equipment methods of alerting persons who are in danger, as well as providing the fastest notification to law enforcement by communicating directly with police dispatch are unmatched. One of ASR's primary objectives is to continue to raise the bar and lead competition when it comes to providing the most effective tools and methods for slowing the bad actors down, while speeding up response capabilities of personnel and police.
These types of products are exasperating to the security mass notification business today, but will ultimately prove to educate business owners, school boards, and first responders that a Hardware-Based solution is best suited, most reliable, and most effective. The things that we stress today will soon be taught through experience. When they have better identified what their needs are, ASR’s solution will be exactly what they are searching for (or mandated to satisfy).
While Governments and Customers Take the Necessary Time to Realize That Apps alone are NOT an Effective Solution, ASR Stands True to its Commitment and Stringent Communication Methods.
ASR is consistently approached by many software-based companies asking us to integrate with their app solution products. While we are open-minded when it comes to considering integrations with some of these companies, we will always remain true to our methods. In short, we can allow existing apps to receive alerts from our system, in conjunction with our existing methods of notification, but we will never allow our systems to be activated, or police to be dispatched via an app. We know that app solutions reduce the effectiveness & reliability of a notification system by removing hardware from the heart of its functionality, and this is something we will never support.