Emergency Communication Systems: New Sleeping Area Requirements

Posted by Zach Nelson on Feb 15, 2016 7:00:00 AM

Watch Lee Kaiser speak about emergency communications in fire suppression. In the video excerpt below, you can watch as he explains what new requirements should be applied to sleeping areas. 

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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. 


Lee: One of the new things, within basic notification, is the requirements for new devices called sounders in sleeping areas. And this important. In most fire alarm systems, certainly the new ones, the country [U.S.A.] has standardized on a T3 tone, Temporal Code 3 tone, to signal evacuation.

What we're trying to do is to get everybody in the population used to hearing this tone and to know that when they hear the T3 tone that they're supposed to evacuate. Let me play what a T3 tone sounds like. [tone] Okay. So, a series of three pulses, and then a pause, and it will continue.

Now there are lots of buildings out there that don't have that. Existing buildings will have different tones and that's okay. All those are sort of grandfathered in, but any new system should sound like [a T3 tone]. What some researchers found is that people who are sleeping don't necessarily wake up to that tone. So in 2007, a university in Australia performed this study, The Waking Effectiveness of Alarms (auditory, visual, and tactile) — that tactile thing is feel — For Adults Who are Hard of Hearing. And so what they found out of that was there was a really effective audible tone for waking people who are sleeping. And that's a 520 hertz, or a lower frequency, square wave tone.

And so let's play what the sounder tone sounds like. [tone] And so that lower frequency — they found that for those who are hard of hearing in the study — tended to wake them up. By the way, you can buy tactile devices like bed shakers to help wake people up, but the lower sounder tone worked better than those bed shakers.

So, in the fire alarm code, NFPA 72 in the 2010 version and the 2013 version that has now come into play. So, Kentucky I don't believe has adopted that yet, but what code version we are on, today? Some of the fire marshals will be able to answer.

Attendee: 2010.

Lee: 2010. So, in sleeping areas, in these types of occupancies, we're going to start to require that those sounder devices be installed. That also includes any living rooms that have a couch where people could be potentially be sleeping. So, a new device out there instead of horns, now you’ll also hear about a new device called sounders.

This is the third 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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