Alyssa’s Law is critical legislation addressing the issue of law enforcement response time when a life-threatening emergency occurs because time equals life. The law calls for the installation of silent panic alarms that are directly linked to law enforcement, so in case of any emergency, they will get on the scene as quickly as possible, allowing them to take down a threat and triage any victims.
Alyssa’s law has been passed in Florida and New Jersey and has been introduced in New York, Nebraska, and Arizona as of April 2021. Each state currently sets its own additional requirements that must be complied with under Alyssa’s law. For more information please visit https://makeourschoolssafe.org/alyssas-law/.
Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, each public school, including charter schools, shall implement a mobile panic alert system capable of connecting diverse emergency services technologies to ensure real-time coordination between multiple first responder agencies. Such systems, known as “Alyssa’s Alert,” must integrate with local public safety answering point infrastructure to transmit 911 calls and mobile activations.
A public school district may implement additional strategies or systems to ensure real-time coordination between multiple first responder agencies in a school security emergency.
Florida’s Alyssa’s Law implementation with StaffAlerter
StaffAlerter complies with Florida’s requirements with Alyssa’s Law. With a StaffAlerter Implementation, a PropStop can be added to outside doors that could prevent a propped door from being used to gain entry to the school by notifying personnel to secure the building. Stationary Lockdown buttons that can provide location information when pressed to first responders can be distributed throughout the building allowing easy access to staff and students in case of an event. Wireless panic buttons can be given to staff to allow them to initiate a lockdown from anywhere in the building with a WiFi signal. Threat Extinguishers can be added to classrooms providing a non-lethal way to fight back when escape is not possible for staff and students.
Shot Tracer units or Halo Smart Sensors can be installed in hallways and classrooms to detect gunshots, or performing any one action (Removal of a Threat Extinguisher, pressing a lockdown button or wireless panic button) can immediately trigger one or more of the silent or audible actions listed below.
- Locking all exterior doors
- Disabling the fire alarm preventing it from being misused (Not allowed in all states).
- Closing fire doors to restrict the access of the attacker
- Notifying an alarm monitoring service to inform them of the event and provide information to first responders
- Starting an on-demand virtual emergency operations center and sending a link out via SMS to first responders and local emergency personnel.
- Sending SMS and Email messages to all staff or building occupants warning of the event.
- Activate lights mounted on the outside of the building to warn people outside of an event.
- Activate one or more SA-Alert units with 110db horns and LED strobe lights throughout the building.
- Send announcements over the PA System warning of an attacker or providing misleading information about occupancy, locations of groups inside the building, or rally points outside the building.
- Initiate phone calls to call lists informing them of the event.
New Jersey Requirements
Alyssa’s Law defines a “panic alarm” as a silent security system signal generated by the manual activation of a device intended to signal a life-threatening or emergency situation requiring a response from law enforcement. The law states that each public elementary and secondary school building in New Jersey shall be equipped with at least one panic alarm that is directly linked to local law enforcement authorities. Further, the law requires that the panic alarm adhere to nationally recognized industry standards, including those of the National Fire Protection Association and Underwriters Laboratories, and be installed by a licensed alarm system installer.
New Jersey’s Alyssa’s Law implementation with StaffAlerter
StaffAlerter is not compliant due to UL and NFPA requirements. Staffalerter is not a security system but an emergency automation system that could be added in conjunction with existing systems to help automate emergency lockdown procedures and reduce the time to activation or implementation of these procedures. Additionally, StaffAlerter can be used to augment these existing systems by adding notification channels such as phone calls, text, email, mobile push, desktop takeover notification, wallboard integration, etc., and allow integration between these existing systems such as fire, alarm, public announcement systems, etc.