The future has arrived when it comes to protecting high-value, hazardous facilities. As smart managers seek to protect their sites from potentially catastrophic events such as fires or critical system failures, they are switching to state-of-the-art digital monitoring systems.

Such technology means businesses can move on from visual inspections of sites and a reliance on old hard-wired technology that connects alarms and controls. Instead, they can monitor a site from any location with an internet connection and a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. Digital monitoring is applicable to almost any site, from mining, petrochemical and oil and gas facilities, to data centres, stadiums, food-processing and emergency services operations and warehouse storage and logistics centres.

For all the benefits, though, there is still a lack of awareness in some quarters about such monitoring systems and the advantages they deliver. Here are some benefits to weigh up.

1. Cost savings – eliminating the physical wiring needed to connect monitors to a central hub is a game-changer. This can significantly reduce the cost of labour and materials when setting up monitoring systems. With digital monitoring, the ability of sensors to capture accurate data for predictive, scheduled and emergency maintenance also builds in cost efficiencies.

2. Stronger compliance – with digital monitoring, all incidents are automatically logged as part of a secure auditing trail for reporting purposes. It is safe from tampering, which limits any potential liability.

3. Freeing up personnel – you can eliminate or reduce the need for people to physically attend a site to check for faults or hazards. In addition, staff who are responsible for overseeing sites do not have to stuck in a control room because monitoring can be done via a laptop or a smartphone from any office or home, or in the field.

4. Flexibility for remote or unattended sites – with old, hardwired systems, the placement of monitors was dictated by the need to be close to power sources or a control hub. Digital systems, on the other hand, can go anywhere and be checked around the clock. Data is transmitted over WiFi networks via email or apps, and the system is hosted in the cloud.

5. Superior to manual inspection – the operating system with the best digital monitoring systems is an innovative wireless, self-healing mesh network that collects and transmits critical information. As the software is so sophisticated, it can deliver complete reporting and incident management while eliminating human error. Removing the need for physical inspections also speeds up response times in the event of a potentially harmful incident.

6. Fast to implement – digital monitors can be installed on sites during a single visit, while the back-end software is quick to install and ready to go.

7. Minimal training – although the digital monitoring systems are hi-tech, the user interface is intuitive and doesn’t require any specialised industry knowledge to learn. The software can be opened in any modern browser and also comes with a phone app for on-the-go notifications and updates.

8. Tailored – the specific safety needs of sites can differ as managers seek to protect their properties and people, so the fact that digital monitoring software is easily customisable means that it can suit any site or situation.

As with any advanced technology, it is important to seek guidance and installation support from experienced suppliers to implement digital monitoring solutions. Don’t delay, though, because your business assets and employees’ lives could be at stake if you rely on outdated technology.

Delta Integrated Systems is a division of Delta Fire Australasia.

Could your business benefit from some expert fire protection advice?