Often when you think of the value that ITS provides to campus, you don’t likely connect us to safety. So, I wanted to share a few examples. Our phones and messaging systems are integral to campus safety. Most folks know that the university converted our phone system to run across the network during the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Project several years ago. This project saved the university money by using existing network lines and increased the flexibility in the system. What many don’t know is that there are still quite a few analog (copper wire) phone lines on the campus that Networking and Telecommunications (N&T) operates and maintains. Why? The majority of those lines remain for safety purposes.
Fire and safety codes require designated phones to be survivable. For example, if a building loses power, elevator occupants must be able to place a call. Your cell phone may or may not work in an elevator car. This analog system is required to have battery backup of at least eight hours in the event that power is lost, and it continues to work in the event that cell service is out. Other safety needs include: fire alarm panels, machine rooms, tunnels, emergency blue light call towers, etc.
We are excited to support a project of Campus Safety & Security that is in the process of being deployed around campus. New “Safety Hubs” are being installed just inside buildings at their celebrated entrance, with the help of ITS. Along with a yellow emergency telephone call box, the Safety Hub will have a defibrillator and first aid equipment. Just a few ways we support a safe environment on the “forty acres”!