VR Fire Drills Give Building Management Flexibility

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly disrupted the way people live their lives today. With the new variants of the virus said to be more infectious, people’s need to distance themselves from one another has become more important than ever. People occupying large residential buildings are advised to stay in their units and leave only for essential needs. Building managers are tasked to ensure that their building’s tenants and residents maintain social distancing protocols, especially when occupying common areas such as the lobby or hallways.

While the protocols to protect against COVID-19 continue to be crucial, fire safety should still be a priority. Building managers are now faced with the dilemma of conducting fire drills and fire safety practices within their buildings without sacrificing their social distancing protocols. Fortunately, there is a way to conduct fire and safety drills without risking the building’s tenant’s or resident’s health and safety. This method is through VR Fire Drills offered developed by AK Preparedness.

Who is AK Preparedness?

AK Preparedness is a company that provides emergency preparedness solutions to different companies. Founded in 1981, AK Preparedness has become the number one provider of fire prevention, emergency preparedness management and training for government institutions, commercial and residential buildings. The main objective of AK Preparedness is to reduce risk through effective fire and emergency preparedness, safety and hazards management programs.

  • SafetyNet VR.AK Preparedness is also the first company to develop fire and evacuation drills through Virtual Reality. Known as the SafetyNet VR, this emergency preparedness solution uses photo-realistic 3D rendering of a building’s interior complete with details about where the stairwells, fire exits, and emergency life-saving equipment are located.

SafetyNet VR allows users to virtually explore their buildings using their computers, tablets, or smartphones. Users use their smart gadgets to virtually navigate the building to find where the nearest fire exits or fire extinguishers are located. SafetyNet VR also includes video-based instructions from firefighters on using fire extinguishers and what to do during specific emergencies.

SafetyNet VR also allows building managers to schedule fire and safety drills through the VR experience. Instead of waiting for all their tenants and residents to gather for in-person training, building managers can conduct VR training and drills numerous times within the year.

  • SafetyNet VR Implementation. AK Preparedness has started the successful implementation of their VR fire drills. One of the first major corporations to adapt to this new approach is CommonWealth Partners LLC, a privately-owned real estate investment and management organization with assets located across the United States.

CommonWealth Partners started implementing VR drills at their Pier 4 multi-tenant building, located in Boston, last January. The VR fire drills were attended by tenants who were mostly on a work-from-home arrangement. The VR drills were to ensure the occupants of Pier 4 will know how to respond in emergencies when they get back into the office.

CommonWealth Partners also used SafetyNet VR to implement VR drills at two other CommonWealth Partners buildings. Last March 30, 2021, the latest implementation was done at the 22-story Century City Office Tower in Los Angeles.

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