High-Tech Emergency Response

by Katie Lee

— By Steve Peldiak —

A spilled glass of water can easily be resolved. But the same amount of water on the floor from an unknown source could represent a major costly repair.


Spring showers and the winter thaw have begun. Rain or snow melting from the rooftop finds its way to a clogged gutter, causing the water to run between the interior and exterior wall. This could unknowingly go on for days and weeks. By the time the water is visual, the damage has already been done. Mold has started to form and the drywall and insulation have been impacted and ruined. Remediation repair can cost tens of thousands of dollars and that may not even include the cost of lost business and upset customers.

Steve Peldiak, Watterson

Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices paired with quick response services and monitoring are the forward-thinking way to keep your business running smoothly and help to redefine facilities management and emergency response services and their capabilities. Cellular driven devices and sensors could have alerted this owner to potential mold before it even emerged and spread to this level.

How a Cellular-Based Smart Solution Can Reduce Your Operating Costs

The 24/7 wireless cellular-based AWSAM detection system offers restaurants, retail and commercial building owners the ability to monitor all their buildings for major causes of property damage. The annual per building costs of repairs and maintenance is 2.6 times higher per square foot than the cost of security per square foot.

The cellular AWSAM system is an Active Whole System Automatic Monitoring IoT solution. There is no need for internet or Wi-Fi, which provides an extra layer of safety. It senses the most common and frequent causes of property damage, such as: water leaks, extreme temperatures, mold/humidity, HVAC loss and power loss through wireless sensor technology.

AWSAM cellular wireless control panel and battery-operated sensors constantly speak to the AWSAM Cloud. The AWSAM Cloud instantly sends out an alert if there is a sensor event to the assigned decision maker. The AWSAM Cloud gives a perched view from a variety of devices like a cellphone, laptop or desktop of each sensor within a building. The AWSAM sensors can be remotely monitored and operated for arming and disarming an entire room, floor or building. The AWSAM Cloud platform enables access to information in multiple locations and an opportunity to identify cost savings. AWSAM is an example of a building automation technology that is starting to connect and communicate with building management systems and providing increased efficiencies, quicker response decision making abilities, saving energy and collecting data for budgetary discussions.

The emerging trend is to integrate facilities management, real estate management and project management under one all-encompassing partner. Connecting all these departments results in a greater visibility of the buildings and portfolio. It also improves the consistent level and quality of services. The best way to connect them is through cellular devices that retrieve pertinent data and make that data actionable.

A company can save between 15% and 20% using preventative maintenance over reactive maintenance. You get even higher savings by incorporating wireless 24/7 monitoring of critical systems that are already integrated with a national services response company. The AWSAM system enables that integrated building solution to monitor and service building anywhere in North America. We have customers that are spending less than 25 to 50 cents per square foot, just one time, and they have saved hundreds of thousands in less than 60 days of deployment because we caught a problem when it was happening.

Monitoring for Closed Stores is a 24/7 Benefit

A 24/7 cellular based alarm monitoring system gives you constant information on the condition of all your temperature, water and humidity of all your monitored locations including your dark stores. Most organizations visit a closed property, on average, once a month. During the downtime anything can happen. A broken heating system, failing sump pump or intense humidity all can add up to major expense. We have seen boiler rooms where you could smell the humid raw water before anyone saw it. Turning the corner revealed a boiler and mechanical room with 3 feet of dank standing water. It was clear the sump pumps had failed days earlier and left the room flooded in this dark building with green slimy waste. We see this all the time. The property owner had their own people walk the property just last week. But, because it is a dark store, things get missed or no one is around 24/7 to catch this. We see it in occupied buildings too. Spaces that are not frequented or perhaps they are closed in the evening or on weekends can easily sustain damage like this, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars to repair. A 24/7 monitoring system would have quickly caught this, notifying the service provider who then could have had services on-site to fix the pump, clean this up with a mop and not have to respond with a disaster team. It would have easily saved them thousands.

The AWSAM system runs independently off of its own cellular connection. It does not need any IT supervision or installation. It is not behind a firewall; it remains its own operating unit.

The AWSAM system is the only cellular and wireless based whole building monitoring solution with dedicated response services. In addition to the sensors, the AWSAM wireless valve controller also can automate potable water supplies and allows for complete customization of remote turn off and on operation from a desktop, phone or laptop.

The use of devices connected to the Internet of Things continues to increase. The earlier it is implemented into a full building system makes it much easier to incorporate and adds a high level of building intelligence. Optimization of building functions ranging from cellular fire protection, security, HVAC maintenance and smart parking allows employers and owners to create a more energy-efficient work environment.

With the IoT market set to top over $1 trillion in new devices in the next 4 years, the offerings of next generation solutions and services to clients and partnering with an all-encompassing service partner is a smart decision to protect one of your biggest assets.



— Steve Peldiak is president of Watterson, a national provider of facilities maintenance, emergency response and environmental services supporting over 60,000 commercial properties. For more information, visit www.wattersonefm.com or call (877) 990-9336 for 24-hour emergency response.

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