Emergency Communication Systems: Advanced Notification

Posted by Zach Nelson on Feb 22, 2016 7:30:00 AM

Watch Lee Kaiser speak about emergency communications in fire suppression. In the video excerpt below, you can watch as he gives details and examples of advanced notification systems.

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Lee: As we move to advanced notification, we add on a level. Instead of just the tones, we add now voice messages — and these are really important. With voice messages, the fire protection research into human behavior shows that when we add a voice message to our fire alarm system, we get a better occupant response. So if you've never heard a voice fire alarm system activated, I'd like to play a little video here that's a recording of a system working. And so, hopefully, you can hear how the system should be arranged to give the voice message.

Voice Message: May I have your attention, please? May I have your attention, please? A fire has been reported in the building. A fire has been reported in the building. Please proceed to the stairways and exit the building. Do not use the elevators.

Lee: The tones will repeat again ... and then the message.

Voice Message: May I have your attention, please? May I have your attention, please? A fire has been reported in the building.

Lee: And so voice alarm systems combine the audible tones with the voice message, a pre-recorded voice message. And by the way, the code says they have to be really polite, you know, "May I have your attention, please". So once occupants that may be having a resistance to evacuating the building hear that voice message — and get a little direction — they tend to take some action and evacuate the building. That’s why we know voice fire alarm systems work so well. It gives better direction for visitors.

So, like this morning, you're all visitors to this building. You don 't necessarily know what the fire alarm system sounds like. Well, if a voice alarm system was to activate, then you would get some additional notification, that oh, that sound I'm hearing is to let me know to evacuate the building. So, with a voice fire alarm system you can also have live voice messages. So, in addition to the prerecorded voice messages, you can do live voice broadcasts to give additional information as the incident develops, as you see fit.

So, in the fire alarm code there are three classifications, and this is just to run through the different terms out there, but I don't want to confuse you. In the fire alarm code there's a chapter called Emergency Communication Systems. I believe that's Chapter 23. Underneath that umbrella of emergency communication systems there are voice fire alarm systems — often we call those voice evacs or voice alarms - just all different jargon for the same thing.

And then, mass notification systems fit under that ECS umbrella. Mass notification is really a broad topic and as we think about mass notification, we're thinking about more hazards than just fire and signaling for more hazards than just a fire within our building. But the foundation for most mass notification system is a voice fire alarm panel and that's, that's really where we're going to kind of drill down and talk about the technology with voice fire alarm panels.

This is the fourth 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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Topics: Technology Changes, Emergency Communications

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