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Emergency Communication Systems: Basics of Notification

Zach Nelson posted this on February 8, 2016

During the 2015 Seminar Series titled Trending Now! #FireProtection: Technologies Impacting the Future, Lee Kaiser spoke about emergency communications in building fire systems. In the video excerpt below, you can watch as he explains the basics of fire alarm system notification. If you would like to register for the 2016 Seminar click here.

Want Access to the Full Video?

There is much more information available in the full video than we will be releasing in our blog series. Don't miss out! If you'd like to watch the entire Emergency Communication Systems portion of the seminar, click here to receive the full video. 


Notification basics. When we're talking about basic level notification, we combine audible and visible signaling to effect evacuation of the building. As two performance metrics for audible notification, our system should produce a fire alarm signal sound in all occupied spaces, and then we generally try to design systems so that they're loud enough to hear, but not loud enough to harm. That's another main principal. For visible notification, for the hearing impaired, the goal is to have visibility from your notification appliances in all occupied spaces.

If you want to know a little bit more about some of the designs for audible signaling, never exceed 120 decibels. That's the piece not loud enough to harm. Voice messages. Now we haven't talked about voice messages yet, but we're getting ready to. Those should be distinguishable and understandable.

Public mode signaling is what we're typically doing in most buildings. In fact, the room that we're in, if the fire alarm system were to go off, would be set up for public mode signaling so the general population in the building gets signaled to evacuate.

Private mode signaling is different, and we do that for multiple functions within the fire alarm system where we're focusing in on a certain target audience to give them a message about the condition of the fire alarm system. So, think about the little buzzers on our panel or the piezos that make an annoying little buzz when there's a trouble condition or a supervisory condition. That's supposed to signal a certain person that's responsible for the fire alarm panel that may be in a maintenance office, but we're not letting the whole general population of the building know.

This is the second video in our Emergency Communications video series. Watch the other parts at the links below:

 You can also watch our previous series on Trending Technology Clean Agent Systems and on Dialer and Communicator Technology Changes at the links below.

Trending Technology Clean Agent Systems:

Dialer and Communicator Technology Changes:

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