Ensuring correct operation starts with the inclusion of relevant and necessary elements during the process of development and production of the product. In these processes, for the voice alarm equipment, compliance with the international standard EN54 has recently assumed great importance, enriched from August 2015 by the new TS 54-32 technical standard.
Voice Alarm and Fire Prevention System
Generally, the voice evacuation systems are used together or as an alternative to the coded sound alarms, activated by the fire detection systems, to improve communication with people who must be advised in the event of a dangerous situation. Clear and understandable messages reduce the time required for those at risk to recognise that there is an emergency situation. They also allow the emergency services, for example the fire brigade, to give clear instructions, perform gradual evacuation by areas and to communicate the end of evacuation operations.
The alarm tones usually used with fire detection systems alert people to the presence of danger, but do not offer further information, involving the risk of not being understood or not provoking a response.
The use of a public communication system for voice evacuation has become more and more common in the last few decades. A scheme created by Prof. Klingsch is often used to show the actual reduction in evacuation times when voice alarms are used.
The integration of more audio functionality in fire detection systems is an obvious next step, as is the inclusion of product requirements for voice evacuation components in the standards of fire detection systems. The current situation means that the products used in voice evacuation systems, which are part of or linked to fire detection systems, are subject to the European Directive on construction products and must receive certification related to the EN54 standard on alarm systems.
Voice alarms, CPR and certification
Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
The new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) No. 305/2011 replaces CPD – Construction Products Directive 89/106/CEE and it will govern the construction segment in the immediate future. Since this is a European regulation it became applicable directly in all member states of the union from 04 Apr 2011.
In other words, the main aim is that of ensuring that the construction products are introduced onto the European market only if they are suitable for their intended use. The products must allow the application they are implemented to satisfy, for reasonably economical operation, the essential requirements related to:
- Stability and mechanical power
- Safety in case of fire
- Hygiene, health and environment
- Safety of use
- Protection from noise and energy saving
- Heat retention