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ASIS 2017

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Honeywell, Twitter integration for situational awareness and emergency communications
Honeywell, Twitter integration offers security through emergency communication

Honeywell, Twitter integration brings security communication to its life safety products

Honeywell, Northford, Conn., is leveraging the Twitter social media platform to bring higher levels of situational awareness and emergency communications to its life safety products. This move focuses to improve emergency response by monitoring various security, safety or building systems and providing information to identify potential threats.

Gamewell-FCI’s Focal4

Now, Gamewell-FCI’s Focal4 Shared Situational Awareness (SSA) system integrates with Twitter to deliver real-time, topic-trending information. According to a free Gamewall-FCI white paper, Combining Situational Awareness and Emergency Communication, the term situational awareness describes the “thorough understanding of a situation required to provide greater insight through more knowledge.”

Focal4 is a vendor-agnostic software platform that aggregates information from all types of systems and manufacturers, including access control, video, fire alarm, HVAC, traffic, mobile devices and more. The open architecture solution is suited for smaller facilities as well as enterprise locations and is designed to enable security directors, emergency management officials and first responders to make fast, accurate emergency response decisions.

CAPSOL with Focal4

At the NFPA Conference & Expo 2015 in June in Chicago, Honeywell announced an integrated add-on to the Focal4 software – CAPSOL, which stands for Capture Social Media. CAPSOL uses search engine optimisation to look for keywords cited in open and public Twitter feeds, for example: shooter, bombing, fire, rape.

Because Twitter activity posted online is public and includes geo-locations based on the IP address of the person initiating the communication, CAPSOL and Focal4 can more accurately pinpoint the location of that communication and provide greater insight through situational awareness.

Situational awareness involves centralised monitoring, alerting and reporting for any and all alarm systems. It delivers information, including location data, to the right people at the right time to ensure business operations and/or to save lives and property.

CAPSOL Twitter integration can secure lives

Founded in March 2006, Twitter has more than 300 million active monthly users and logs some 500 million “tweets” per day. Some 80% of its users engage with the social media platform via mobile devices.

Gamewell-FCI’s Focal4 Shared Situational Awareness (SSA) system integrates with Twitter to deliver real-time, topic-trending information

“There’s so much information coming in quickly from Twitter, and CAPSOL captures it and makes it actionable,” says John Stofa, municipal account manager for Honeywell Fire Safety, Northford, Conn. “CAPSOL filters out extraneous information and gets to the core information with keyword searches. It provides immediate, real-time notification of events,” he adds.

The software-based Focal4 system uses an open, layered and networked architecture to integrate and present information and events from previously disconnected systems into a single interface. It can be used on-site at command centres or remotely with smartphones, iPads, tablets, laptops or other Web-enabled devices. A mobile app available with the system can be loaded during an emergency to provide geo-location data and immediate communication.

“The best way to mitigate an emergency situation is to be able to tap information from multiple sources, especially when multiple emergencies are occurring simultaneously,” Stofa says. “The CAPSOL Twitter integration assists in those efforts. It’s proactive and powerful, and getting ahead of a situation with this type of information can help save lives.”

CAPSOL features and uses

CAPSOL is downloaded to the primary Focal4 software, where users can activate the social media engine and enter the rules and keywords that the organisation or campus wants to search for in Twitter feeds. It can also dictate how and when to notify campus personnel, responding authorities or others via text message or email. CAPSOL also allows users to aggregate information so it’s known whether one person is tweeting about an event or multiple people, which also assists with response. The platform also has some integration with Facebook, but is limited because of the privacy settings of that social media network.

“The user can customise the key and search words for their facility,” Stofa continues. “This type of instant communication is not going to go away. We need to intercept it and make it actionable. We can get feet on the ground and make a timely warning so people can help themselves and save themselves.”

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