Until now, schools found it difficult to make sure their school safety technology systems were always working correctly. We have seen situations where Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS) were offline, or their batteries needed to be replaced. We’ve also seen situations where the POTS line went dead, or a server hung – all without anyone knowing until they needed to use it, which oftentimes is too late in an emergency situation. To ensure a safe school environment, a proactive approach to communications is necessary and the same approach should be applied to the monitoring of the emergency notification systems and technology solutions that allow for rapid response during the time of a catastrophic event. To address this need, the team at Eastern DataComm developed OPTICS, a reliable remote monitoring solution with the simple goal of maximizing uptime for your school safety system.
The system will test your phone line every 30 minutes, monitor for proper server functionality, monitor the status of the UPSs, and make sure the controller and other critical devices are all powered-up and functioning properly. If something should go wrong, OPTICS will detect the issue and provide timely notifications so that the problem can be addressed and remedied quickly.
1.) Your Phone Carrier & Copper Phone Lines
The copper phone line is crucial in the ability to get a call out to the authorities. Unfortunately, if a line is dedicated to an emergency system, and not used for any other reason, it’s hard to know if it is presently working unless triggered during a drill or actual lockdown event. OPTICS will test the phone lines every 30 minutes for proper dial tone. If that phone line has an issue, OPTICS will detect and then send a notification so that the identified problem can be addressed in a timely manner.
2. The Lifecycle of Hardware & Batteries
OPTICS maintains a watchful eye over the performance of the machine hardware itself. Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) are an important and essential addition to emergency systems. They help keep equipment running during a power outage and also provide protection from line spikes and surges. They rely on batteries to provide the needed electricity for a short period of time during an outage. If the units are powered down, or have bad batteries or other abnormal conditions, they could impact the overall functionality of the LENS Solution.
We recommend that these batteries be replaced once every three years. Often, the technology staff at a school is tasked with this duty, but with busy schedules and conflicting priorities, these checks can often be forgotten or overlooked. Avoid the potential for human error. When the UPS battery approaches its end of life, Optics will provide proactive notification so that it can be replaced before it reaches its terminal point.
3.) Server Functionality
While the core of the LENS Solution does not rely on servers, oftentimes, we’ll connect to servers for other service features. OPTICS monitors specific functions critical to the overall system health of the solution such as services, updates, restarts, etc. OPTICS detects if a service has stopped running and will restart it automatically. OPTICS warns of low storage space, or overly high processor loading. As another important component, it can recover after an unexpected update. Just as your smartphone will notify you when updates and adjustments are needed so that its applications can run properly, in a similar sense, OPTICS keeps you informed so that your LENS Solution can run optimally.
4.) Controllers and Critical Components
Controllers and other critical devices can be challenging for school systems to monitor themselves since they are often physically spread out in a building (or across multiple buildings). OPTICS monitors each unique device to be certain that it is powered up and in a “normal state”. OPTICS detects if, for example, a power supply fails, or someone accidentally unplugs a device, or perhaps, someone accidentally turns something off. OPTICS provides the ability for a remote power cycle in case a device needs to be rebooted. Most importantly, this solution is vendor/brand agnostic, allowing it to work on a large range of equipment and enabling you to best leverage systems already in place.
Aside from the obvious technological benefits, OPTICS provides an increased level of peace of mind by drastically reducing the opportunity for error in your emergency notification system. Have confidence in knowing that your systems are monitored by OPTICS 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Interested in greatly enhancing the safety of your school through the reliable monitoring of technology? Schedule your School Safety Consultation today by completing the form below.