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Evacuating staff with a fire roll call check in system
February 25, 2020

Fire roll call systems are used to automatically identify the location of all people within a premises with pinpoint, real time accuracy.

This allows you to ensure that all personnel have reached a designated safe area or assembly point in the event of an emergency, or quickly locate them within the premises if they have not.

A roll call check in system can accurately track the location of visitors, personnel and employees as they enter and exit each building on a particular premises.

This results in much shorter response times in the event of an emergency and allows incidents managers to quickly determine if anyone is still inside a building.

How do fire roll call systems work?

Each employee within a premises will receive a personal RFID tag which transmits a signal every 1.2 seconds. This signal informs a centralised system of the identity of the personnel, as well as their exact location.

Wireless Location Modules or WLMs, detect the RFID tags on personnel as they enter or exit each building.

Each WLM is configured to detect RFID tags within a specific read zone which can range from 1 to 80 metres. The ranges of each WLM is catered to suit each individual site.

WLMs are also located at designated safe areas or assembly points so in the event of an emergency, the system can log the presence of all of the personnel. More importantly, with this information incident managers can quickly identify those that are not present.

If an individual is logged as not present, the system will recognise their last known location and display it to an incident manager through a smart device or portable media device.

When a fire alarm is activated, the system automatically has a record of all of the people within the building. It then categorises them as in ‘danger’ until they arrive at a designated safe area.

This information is displayed on said smart device alongside an image of all personnel who still remain ‘at risk’ after the fire alarm is activated.

Diagram of a fire roll call check in system

What are the benefits of a fire roll call system?

  • Automatically accounts for all people on-site:

By employing one of these systems, you will always know where personnel are on your premises. Not only will this help you to protect your assets but will also protect the lives of anybody in your building in the event of an emergency.

  • Removes the potential for human error

The traditional method of having people sign in and out of buildings leaves room for potential human error. The result of an unlogged individual being stuck in an emergency could be catastrophic.

  • Quickly identifies people in ‘danger’ and their most recent location

Instantly identifying between those present at a safe area and those that are still at risk, can help prioritise in the event of an emergency and reduce vital response time.

  • Provides emergency services with vital information in an emergency

Being able to provide the emergency services with both an image of the person ‘at risk’, is well as their last known location can help the fire services act efficiently and may be the deciding factor in protecting lives.

  • Reduces downtime of evacuation drills

The ability to quickly identify that all of your personnel are safely at an assembly point can reduce the time it takes to perform evacuation drills and therefore improve their efficiency.

  • Saves time and money

A traditional roll call system would require security at entry and exit points to sign personnel in and out. Reduce these additional costs by automating these logs.

  • Hosted and operated off and on-site

Having the system operated off site as well as on-site, means if the central system was damaged in the event of an emergency, you would still be able to monitor and provide vital information to emergency services.

  • Provides ultimate peace of mind to both you and your staff

If staff members know that they can be easily tracked and found in an emergency, this can help to reduce panic if a fire alarm is activated.

Roll Call System Effectiveness

office fire escape

Implementing a fire roll call system will help you to boost fire safety considerably. However, whilst extremely useful, it’s important to note that this approach is not 100% effective. There is still room for human error. A fire roll call system should therefore not be solely relied upon in an evacuation procedure.

For example, visitors, managers and engineers on site may not have been issued RFID tags upon entering the premises. Therefore, in the event of an emergency, they would be at risk if no other precautions were taken outside of an automated roll call system.

A full sweep of the premises by allocating zones to each of your fire marshals is likely the most effective means of ensuring a building is fully evacuated. You should also be sure to allow for appropriate holiday and sick cover so there will always be enough marshals on site.

The best possible system to employ would be to combine both a fire marshal sweep with fire roll call systems. This will allow you to immediately identify people particularly at risk on your smart device, whilst ensuring that no visitors remain within the building through the fire marshal sweep.

On a site with 300 plus employees, a combination of these two systems is essential.

If you are looking to introduce a roll call check in system for your business or would like further advice, please contact us or apply for a free quote. Alternatively, visit our Roll Call Systems page to find out more about this service. 

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