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Life Safety Solutions for the Hybrid Workplace

April 14, 2021

As detailed in a previous post, the new hybrid workplace and a shift to more hoteling and drop-in space creates significant challenges for a facility’s emergency preparedness and life safety program.  The trend presents two main issues: Live training and drills are less effective when a large percentage of employees are not on site on…

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Earthquakes Happen Where You Least Expect

March 17, 2021

While the seismic risk in North America declines significantly as you move away from the West Coast, earthquakes have a way of striking where they’re not expected. Buildings in Miami recently shook from a 7.7 magnitude earthquake between Cuba and Jamaica. Virginia was not considered earthquake country until 2011, when it experienced a 5.8 earthquake…

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Life Safety Challenges in the Hybrid Workplace

February 1, 2021

The much-heralded shift to a hybrid workplace model, where employees will spend only part of their time in the office and the rest of the time working remotely, offers many advantages. However, it also creates significant challenges for maintaining effective office life safety programs.  Property Managers, Fire Safety Directors, and even local Fire Departments will…

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Virtual Reality Fire Drills and Life Safety Training

January 13, 2021

Virtual Reality is proving to be extremely useful for far more than just running fire drills during the pandemic period.  Buildings deploying SafetyNet VR plan to use it for routine life safety training and ongoing fire drills over the long run. To date, office and medical research buildings in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York,…

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Seattle Office Tower Deploys First Virtual Reality Fire Drills

October 18, 2020

As noted in Markets Insider and the Puget Sound Business Journal, the Russell Investments Center will soon be the first commercial office building in the world to conduct fire drills through virtual reality (VR). With the COVID-19 pandemic making traditional fire drills impractical, the Seattle high-rise opted to deploy AK’s new virtual reality technology to help ensure its occupants know how to respond in an emergency.   The 42-story commercial office…

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Virtual Reality Fire Drills

June 29, 2020

Traditional fire drills, which require hundreds of building occupants to gather in stairwells and in assembly areas, are problematic during a pandemic. Even after public officials authorize a return to full occupancy, tenants in high-rise office buildings will remain leery of participating in drills for the foreseeable future. To help buildings maintain their life safety…

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Life Safety Training and Drills When You Cannot Gather

May 11, 2020

With a widely available vaccine to COVID-19 not expected for another 12 to 18 months at the earliest, commercial office property managers will be challenged to maintain their life safety and risk management programs. Gathering people together for fire drills and staff & floor warden training is now untenable, and yet buildings remain responsible for…

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Building Operations After Reopening

April 22, 2020

With the end of stay-at-home orders approaching in many states, property and facility teams are focusing on how building operations will need to adapt during the pandemic’s next phase. Until a Covid-19 vaccine is widely available (at least a year from now, and likely longer), the risk of infection will remain high even in already…

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Building Operations During Extended Low Occupancy

April 4, 2020

With states extending the duration of their stay-at-home orders from weeks to months (now into June in some locations), many property teams are adjusting building operations to reflect an extended period of low to no occupancy.  From a health and life safety perspective, the two main considerations are air and water, but property teams are…

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Pandemic Response for Property Teams (Volume 2)

March 17, 2020

Now that many major US jurisdictions are making big moves to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, property teams need to begin moving into the next phase of their response. Most office buildings have already implemented the initial response procedures (escalating cleaning protocols, educating tenants, encouraging work from home, etc.).  The second phase involves…

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