In light of terrorist attacks, anthrax scares and similar threats, office building owners are now faced with a daunting task – keeping their buildings safe and secure.

As today’s offenders become more sophisticated, it is crucial to consider different emergency scenarios and implement effective procedures in order to remain safe.

Simple measures, such as installing more fire alarms and surveillance cameras, incorporating metal detectors and directing emergency evacuation drills help keep buildings safe.

However, many experts are still finding gaps in guidelines and procedures, especially when it comes to communicating with building occupants and emergency responders.

Since lines of communication can be lost during an emergency, building managers are increasingly adopting an innovative new alert system called the Immediate Response Information System, or IRIS.

Developed by TechRadium Inc., IRIS is a state-of-the-art, high-speed response system that sends emergency messages to thousands of people at a time.

Using any phone or Internet-connected computer, a designated individual sends a message in both voice and text format. IRIS then transmits the message to building managers, occupants and emergency responders. Within seconds, the system sends the alert through a variety of frequently used electronic devices: home and cell phones, e-mail accounts, pagers, fax machines and PDAs.

Users can pre-select any of the 10 language options. IRIS repeats transmissions to individuals until their message is received.

As a communication alert system, IRIS also is capable of sending important non-emergency information, such as building maintenance plans and adverse weather condition reports.

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