Kastle Systems Introduces Mobile, Crowdsourced Emergency Communication Service

KastleAlert is said to provide users the capability to instantly disseminate communications, including text messages, photos and response protocol documents, to all building or facility occupants.

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — Kastle Systems Int’l, a provider of managed security solutions and services, announces the launch of a mobile, crowdsourced emergency mass communications (EMC) platform.

The platform, called KastleAlert, aims to save lives in the critical 5-10 minutes after an emergency incident occurs, but before authorities arrive, by expediting initial emergency reporting. The company says this can be achieved by the quick and comprehensive dissemination of critical information — including text messages, photos and response protocol documents — to all building or facility occupants.

KastleAlert is said to provide users the capability to instantly disseminate communications to others in the space with situational emergency manager (Incident Commander) controls to quickly assess the emergency based on multiple immediate reports, issue live updates and direction to everyone affected, receive individual safety status, and control/lockdown building access through integrated access control functions.

The company says features of KastleAlert include:

  • Customizable message templates for situation-specific emergency notification
  • Configurable communication workflows for multiple event types
  • All-to-all communications, with pictures and highlighted Incident Commander communications
  • Geo-fenced and integrated “last seen” building access awareness to intelligently distribute information to the right people and enable accurate mustering
  • “Safe” vs. “Need Help” polling and self-reporting, with a directory for texting individual end users
  • Emergency document library for easy access and rapid download
  • Incident Commander building lockdown and post-event auditing capabilities

According to a 2017 FBI report, cited in the Kastle Systems announcement, nearly half of all active shooter events occur at commercial/office workplaces, with 2017 representing the highest number of active shooter incidents in U.S. history.

Emergency preparedness for commercial environments, including the ability to effectively communicate and share information during an incident, has never been more relevant and important, according to the company.

“Emergency preparedness and business continuity is a core competency for modern facility management professionals, all the more so with the variety of natural and man-made disasters we’ve seen in the past year,” states International Facilities Management Association (IFMA) President and CEO Tony Keane. “Innovative solutions like Kastle’s mobile [EMC] platform help facility management professionals make people safer and more confident in their workplaces.”

KastleAlert, as a crowdsourced EMC solution, will be offered on a per-site subscription basis, rather than the per-user model. The company’s announcement says its “goal is to provide a cost-effective method for 100% facility population adoption of mobile emergency awareness and security practices, thereby putting the eyes and ears of all occupants to use versus those of only a few security personnel.”

Because it is a mobile platform, the KastleAlert solution does not rely on landlines or desktop-based technologies that are ill-suited for time-sensitive emergency scenarios and eliminates many steps from traditional mass communications systems and processes.

“Kastle is committed to making spaces safer for those that own, manage and occupy them, with the smartphone as a core of our innovations,” says Kastle Systems Chairman Mark Ein. “KastleAlert empowers every individual to take a role in their well-being and safety, enabling them to say something – to everyone in a facility – during an emergency situation.”

KastleAlert is being introduced as part of KastlePresence, Kastle’s Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Office Platform.

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