Earthquakes, floods, fires, bomb threats … New Zealanders have experienced some extreme, life threatening situations over the years, both in city and rural areas. In all these events, buildings are directly under threat – which means so are the people inside them.

Whatever the circumstances, property managers should be prepared for the eventuality of one day having to evacuate their people from a threatened building. While we hope that such an event will never happen, it’s still important to have every available tool at your fingertips to be able to contact your people if such a situation ever arises.

So, as noted in last month’s update, Forsite has now established a new ‘EVACUATION’ feature in Forsite’s property management software toolbox, which recently went live.

How does it work?

When the Evacuation message is sent by the manager, it triggers the contractor’s phone to sound an alert with increasing volume until they click and send a response notification, indicating they have received the message and are evacuating the building. Administrators can then track the location status of users.

However, there is one more element which will be added in January. From then, the app will include a feature that goes one step further, meaning that even if the user’s phone is switched to silent, or even in sleep mode, it will send a fully secure phone override notification that will wake the user’s phone up and sound the Evacuation alarm.

To get this functionality operational, we were required to obtain special permission from the Apple support team, as such overrides need to be processed through an iPhone’s OS, not the Forsite app. It’s a necessary part of making sure this function works in every situation, while also maintaining full security for individual phones.

We developed this function following feedback from customers who found themselves in a situation where they needed to evacuate their staff from a building but were not aware that some were on the rooftops, so didn’t receive the internal building evacuation alert.

It’s all part of our ongoing efforts to provide you peace of mind and full health and safety capability, which is at the heart of Forsite’s service.

Other updates

Besides the Evacuation function, here are some more new features our development team has been working on…

  • We are now in the final stages of developing the Database Hierarchy restructure, which I talked about in my last update. This is set to go live in the New Year, so make sure you keep your app updated so it takes effect as soon as we’ve uploaded it.
  • We’ve made a few new usability enhancements, including making registration easier by allowing users to search for themselves in the Forsite database to check their own registration and details.
  • For those customers who have opted to use it, the Self-induction function is now live. This allows users to pre-induct themselves through the app, which they can do anywhere they are located.
  • We’ve also started working on an Online Permits function, which provide a process for managing special building permits that particular contractors occasionally need so they can work on certain sites. Access to this function through the app will be a new feature enabled as of early in the New Year.

That’s everything for now. Thanks again for all your support and feedback. Remember to keep your app updated and don’t hesitate to let us know if there are ever any problems you encounter with Forsite’s software, so we can provide a fix for you as soon as possible.

Sarah Yock