As September approaches many schools will be returning to the new version of normality to commence the 2020/2021 school year. However, with the recent pandemic in mind, schools will not simply be able to operate as they did before. There will be multiple changes to the day to day running of schools to ensure staff and pupils remain Covid safe in an active school environment.
Two way radios and social distancing in schools
To prevent the further spread of the virus, one of the vital measures that should be put in place is social distancing. This is where two way radios come in. The use of two way radios is supported by the Government as a viable solution to social distancing. For example, if each teacher were equipped with a two way radio, they will be able to seamlessly communicate without having to move through communal areas or visit other classrooms. This will allow teachers and pupils to stay within their ‘bubble’, thus minimising the opportunity for the virus to spread to other pupils, teachers and staff.
Find out how two way radios can be used to aid with social distancing within families, the community and business in our blog ‘Radios For Social Distancing’ here.
Advantages of using two way radios:
Minimise face-to-face communication
Communicate in densely populated areas without the unreliability of mobile signals
On-site security and management of students, visitors, staff, assets and buildings
Health and safety of staff, students and visitors
Coordination of activities and management of events and excursions
Covid Safe Radios
As with all areas and surfaces that are frequently touched, two way radios should be regularly disinfected and cleaned to minimise the risk for cross contamination and the spread of the virus.
If it is possible, assign a personal radio to each individual that won’t be used by anyone else to minimise the risk of cross contamination.
Where possible, use single charging stations to keep personal radios separate. Alternatively, if you are using a multi-charging port, assign each radio to an individual port.
A vital step in minimising the spread of Coronavirus in schools is to always disinfect radios and their charging stations regularly! To do this:
Turn off the radio, remove from the charging station and unplug the charger
Remove the battery
Using at least 70% concentration of rubbing alcohol, wipe down the radios, screen, case, buttons, control knobs, antenna and charging station
Once the alcohol has air dried, replace the battery and wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds
With health and safety at schools a top priority, here at Wall to Wall Communications we have a wide range of two way radios for sale and hire to suit all needs and price points. From Digital Radios, to Analogue and POC radios all needs and specifications can be met. For more information on the benefits of each radio you can read our blog post ‘Which Radio is Best For You?’. Alternatively you can contact our team of experts using the form below to discuss your needs and budget.
Wall to wall offer
To help your schools stay Covid safe, here at Wall to Wall Communications we are offering a service that will keep your radios functioning at maximum efficiency, so you can focus on the important task at hand. With the start of the school year approaching, our team of experts will collect and carry out inspections of your school’s radios free of charge. With over 40 years of experience, our team will ensure your radios are in working order and offer a free report on functionality with recommended repairs and updates.
Two way radios have been in circulation and benefiting organisations for over 100 years. To this day, two way radios are still benefiting organisations from all industries from both the public and private sector in a number of ways. With their robust design, easy to use functions and useful features, there are many advantages to using two way radios. We’ve listed some of the benefits below:
Two way radios allow you to communicate with other members of your team instantaneously and without delay. These fast working devices allow you to similarly make fast and effective decisions, particularly useful when communicating during an emergency situation. Each radio design is unique, but commonly there is a large PTT (push to talk) button on one side. This allows the radio users to communicate at a single touch. If your staff are required to wear PPE kit, small and fiddly buttons can be tricky to navigate. With two way radios, regardless of the equipment being worn, communication is fast and easy.
Robust two way radios
Two way radios are built with a robust casing to keep up with you and your team. Two way radios are rigorously tested to ensure that they can withstand water, dust, heat, drops and shock. This allows your team to function in even the toughest environments, knowing their communication technology will still keep them connected.
For particularly hazardous environments, there are also ATEX radios which stand for ATmosphere EXplosibles. These radios are specifically designed to be used in environments where explosive and flammable substances are present. These radios are particularly robust to ensure no spark is produced and the highest safety standards are met. You can read our blog ‘What Are ATEX Radios and do I Need Them’ here to find out more.
Protection and security
Two way radios can significantly increase the safety of both your staff and visitors. In addition to opening a line of reliable communication, two way radios can also come with additional safety features which include the Lone Worker function and Man Down function. The Lone Worker function sends out automated alarms at regular intervals, and if a worker does not respond within a certain time frame an alarm is activated to signal for assistance. The Man Down function on two way radios, on the other hand, monitors for irregular movements such as vigorous movement or no movement at all.
Two way radios have reliable intelligent battery technology that ensures your radios will last your full shift. Without having to recharge your radio batteries throughout the day, your communication between team members will be constant and uninterrupted.
Where mobile signal fails, radio signal prevails. In built up areas or at busy events such as festivals and concerts, the mobile network can become overwhelmed and signal lost. This presents problems if you are working in such conditions and you need to communicate. However, two way radio signals will remain operational during these busy events, in emergencies and at major incidents.
Two way radio communications can be encrypted end to end, providing your team with a secure line of communication. The quality of voice and data transmissions will remain high, with clear audio messages whilst still protecting the content of your messages.
Members of your team can remain connected even when they are separated by rooms, floors or even site locations (learn about Multi-site Connectivity here). Two way radios can even be connected to tablets, mobile phones, PC’s and alarm systems for complete visibility. This open communication builds the perfect foundation for collaboration and teamwork.
If you feel that your organisation can benefit from the advantages of two way radios, please do get in contact via our email address email@example.com, phone number 0208 770 1007 or by filling out the form below.
We are here to debunk the 6 most common two way radio misunderstandings so you can make a more informed decision on the use of two way radios within your organisation…
“Two way radios are expensive”
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about two way radios, that they are expensive. Whilst two way radios do involve an initial one-off cost, and with the exception of OFCOM licence fees (read our blog on OFCOM Radio Licence Fees here) there are no additional running costs or hidden fees after this. This makes two way radios a cheaper long term option compared to mobile phones for example, which require contracts.
The initial costs of the two way radio also can vary greatly depending on the specification and additional features your organization requires. The benefit of this is you only need to pay for what you need and what will benefit your company.
“OFCOM licences are hard to obtain and expensive”
You may be thinking “but how much are OFCOM radio licence fees?!”. Generally, these only cost £75 for 5 years, far cheaper than the mobile phone alternatives. In addition to this, when you work with Wall to Wall Communications we can assist you in obtaining and managing OFCOM radio licences on your behalf, making sure you only pay for what you absolutely need.
“Two way radios are bulky”
This is a myth that is likely based on some of the larger earlier models of two way radios. If you think back to the 90’s radios you are probably picturing large, heavy and bulky black machines. However, this was 20 years ago, and two way radios have evolved dramatically since then. Radios can even be smaller, more compact and lightweight than mobile phones.
“Two way radios have poor signal and coverage”
Two way radios are not just limited to a small signal range like the radios you might have played with as kids. Two way radio can have a wide area of coverage with the help of leaky feeders, antennas and repeaters. There is not a one-size-fits all approach, but it is dependent on your environment e.g. underground or a built up city and the level of coverage you require. You can read our blog on ‘How To Boost Your Two Way Radio Signal’ for more information here.
“Two way radios don’t offer any other features apart from voice communication”
This one is definitely false! Two way radios can now be almost completely customised to your environment and industry with more ways to connect than just voice communication. Additional features can include Noise Cancelling, Man Down, Lone Worker, GPS tracking, Manager Override Function, Integrated Task Management Systems, Text Messaging, Caller ID, Panic/Emergency Call Functions and Automated Radio Alarm.
It is true that many, if not most of all large organizations rely on two way radios to enhance communication, improve efficiency and increase security. However, the use of two way radios are not exclusive to larger companies. Two way radios can have unlimited usage, whether you only need 2 radios or up to 1000 radios. Smaller businesses that can benefit from two way radios include restaurants, offices and retail stores.
An OFCOM licence is something that two way radio users must obtain. OFCOM is the UK’s official communication regulator, operating under several Acts of Parliament including the Communications Act 2003. OFCOM is responsible for managing the civilian use of the radio spectrum, ensuring that the use of radio waves is fairly distributed and not overwhelmed. Any business or individual that uses a two-way radio must have an OFCOM radio licence in order to legally operate
There is however one exception. If you are using a licence-free radio then you do not need an OFCOM licence…
Licence-free radios are one of the few exceptions to needing a radio licence. These are radios that can be bought and instantly used. They are the kind of radios you can find in stores off the shelf. Licence-free radios also have a small range and a relatively low output of 0.5 watts, meaning they are unlikely to interfere with the UK’s main radio waves. It is because of this that these radios do not encounter OFCOM radio licence fees.
Contributing to their overall low price and non-existent OFCOM radio licence fees is their simple design and easy-to-use features. This makes them ideal for personal use where mobile signal is not available such as at festivals, leisure parks, when hiking or skiing.
Benefits of licence-free radios:
No OFCOM radio licence fees
Easy to use
Low initial cost
Professional use within a small range
Licenced Radios + OFCOM licence fees
Licenced radios on the other hand do encounter OFCOM licence fees and higher initial costs. However, they are more powerful and do come with more radio features. Licenced radios have a higher power output of up to 5 watts. This provides the user with increased range and signal coverage, and as a result, requires its own OFCOM radio licence with accompanying OFCOM radio licence fees. Licenced radios are required if your business needs a dedicated and uninterrupted frequency and further range.
Benefits of licenced radios:
Clear audio quality
Wider radio signal range
More reliable radio signal
Uninterrupted radio frequency
Dial up individual radio users
More secure conversation
Clear audio quality
OFCOM Radio Licence Fees
There are several types of OFCOM licences available, and they all come with their own OFCOM licence fees. Each radio licence offers different signal ranges and either a shared or a dedicated radio frequency. Both of these factors affect the OFCOM radio licence fees.
£75+ for 5 years in OFCOM radio licence fees: Ranging from £75+ in OFCOM radio licence fees you can buy a radio licence that will cover you for 5 or more years. For this price you can obtain one of two licences…
Simple UK Light: Every year you will share access with other users to a number of radio frequencies and tones. Without the need for a base station, you will be able to communicate with other users throughout the UK.
Simple Site UK:This is also another relatively low cost OFCOM radio licence fee. The Simple Site UK will allow you to have access to a radio signal over a 3km radius from the base station or paging system. If your business operates in a static position, this is the ideal OFCOM licence for you.
£75-£1480 per year in OFCOM radio licence fees: For between £75 and £1480 in OFCOM radio licence fees per year you can buy a Technically Assigned (Shared and Exclusive) radio licence. Your business will have a dedicated frequency, un-interrupted by other radio users. You will have sole use of the radio frequency within an allotted area, with the use of a repeater. However, this can only be used up to 50% of the time. If you require the use of the radio signal more than 50% of the time, you will encounter increased OFCOM licence fees.
£75-£9900 in OFCOM radio licence fees: Area Defined is an OFCOM licence fee that ranges greatly, as it can be completely tailored to your business requirements. This means you will never have to pay for what you don’t use or don’t want.
error: Unfortunately, our content is protected, thank you.