Intelligent Building Systems Provide Info in Emergency Situations

Nov. 8, 2005

Researchers study how smart buildings benefit first responders

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is working with members of the building industry, as well as public safety and information technology communities, to study how smart buildings can deliver information to first responders during emergencies. Recognizing the challenges firefighters, police, and other first responders face in getting accurate information quickly, NIST is working to develop industry standards that help manufacturers develop intelligent building systems. These systems will use various types of communication networks to expedite rescue efforts, answering questions like, “Where is the fire in the building? How big is it? Are there flammable chemicals stored nearby?”

Additionally, these systems will be able to provide information such as building floorplans and data from motion, heat, biochemical, and other sensors and video cameras. This information will be provided to fire and police dispatchers who can distribute it to on-the-scene responders.

NIST recently released video presentations to explain how an “Intelligent Building Response” program would work. To find out more about these efforts, visit (

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