When school is in session, accurate and clear school zone communication is critical in keeping pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers safe. Technology has advanced school beacon systems to keep accuracy, convenience, and security at the forefront. Here are ten features all modern Flashing School Zone Beacon systems should include:
1. Internal Cell Modem
By including an internal cellular modem, the beacons can maintain constant communication with the central system. Modern cellular modems have self-healing abilities for readjusting for power interruptions, etc. without human interaction.
2. Email and Text Alerts
Leveraging text and email alerts provides an immediate awareness of problems such as AC failure, lamp failure or battery failure. When a problem is resolved, a second message is sent to keep personnel up to date.
3. Automatic Configuration and Self Location Features
New school zone beacon systems provide for automatic configuration of position and communication once the power is on. This feature removes the need for static IP addresses as it works just like your cell phone and the location is automatically transmitted via GPS and the cellular modem. The device also downloads the schedule automatically from the server so no user interaction is required.
Look for systems that utilize HTTPS secure encrypted communications. New technology provides security for school beacon systems as solid as banking system security.
5. Remote Updates
A key feature of modern flashing school beacon systems is the ability to install remote updates. Cloud based systems ensure the beacons are updated automatically with new features and functionality.
6. Detailed Fault Reporting
New beacon systems should provide clear, detailed information regarding voltage status, lamp failures, door access, etc. Detailed reporting minimizes the service time by providing visibility of the nature of the problem before dispatching personnel to the field.
7. Battery and Solar Monitoring
The most modern systems provide proactive reporting for status and health of your batteries and solar panels so you will know in advance of diminishing batteries, etc.
8. Radar Data Reporting
Technologically advanced school beacon systems can provide reports from radar devices and speed display signs including median speed, 85th percentile speed, and vehicle volume, allowing cities/counties to monitor the effectiveness of flashing beacons in the school zone.
9. Daily Synchronization
With a daily synchronization, using either the GPS time or the server time, the school beacon system receives the most accurate and current time, so schedules are accurate.
10. Scenario Programming
Often, especially in emergency situations, it’s helpful to control multiple devices at the same time. Look for system features that allow you to set up a group of beacons to be turned on/off with one click of the button.
Technology is constantly changing and by requiring these features from your flashing school beacon system you can future-proof the investment in this technology to keep your citizens safer.