I recently had a client who noted that operators were not receiving alarms, but they had been reported. Turns out that some operator had muted the audio because the alarms became annoying (treating the symptom and not the cause). This same workstation also had an Axis virtual intercom master application running on it which meant that visitors were not being properly vetted before allowing entry. As a security guy, this is a VERY big deal. Here are the work-arounds I have thought about:
- Policy that says "DON'T DO THAT".
- A voice annunciation connected to an output relay of the access control system which provides a voice prompt over a separate speaker in the vicinity of the workstation.
- A local sounder with an acknowledge button activated on ANY alarm condition requiring operator attention.
Items 2 and 3 are not likely in some cases because there is not a local panel at the remote workstation locations. Installing such a panel is an expensive undertaking, particular when there are 200 possible remote workstations involved.
Do you think manufacturer's have addressed this issue in their applications (if you don't know, you should find out before the operator misses a critical alarm).
Can you lock down the mute button, but just for alarms? for just CERTAIN alarms?
Is there a better way?
Suggestions are appreciated.