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Voice Alarm vs Fire Alarm Tones

Voice Alarm vs Fire Alarm Tones

Studies show that the amount of time that passes between an alarm being raised and occupants of a building mobilising for evacuation is drastically reduced when a speech message is broadcast and heard when compared to the amount of time that passes before evacuation for a standard fire-alarm tone.

Widespread use of spoken voice alarm messages led to revisions of the British Standard i.e. BS5839-pt8 Voice Alarm and the EU Construction Products Regulation for fire products with the introduction of the EN54equipment standard.

Whilst very efficient on rules and guidelines for equipment standards and cabling types the standards do not provide any guidelines  on the philosophy of deployment of fire safety systems or instructions on how systems should be used.

The Technology

System components might include microphones, an audio router (or number of routers), amplifiers and speakers. All components should include monitoring, so that you know if the system is working and will work in the event of an incident. The system should include battery back up (electrical fires are common). The system should also include pre-recorded messages and the ability for live messages from a nominated responsible person too i.e. a fireman’s microphone. Speakers should have fire resistant back cans and use A and B cabling. All cabling should be fire-retardant.

How should equipment be deployed

Watch to find out more:

Voice Alarm vs Fire Alarm Tones


No situation requires a more urgent response that a fire event. On a large public site, especially during busy periods, public safety is paramount.

iVENCS Fire gives building managers complete monitoring and control over fire detection and safety systems and devices including smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and fire control panels, for comprehensive fire risk and incident management. Where time is of the essence, automated control aids site managers to respond quickly and efficiently to a fire event.

Visual Fire Management

iVENCS Fire can automatically switch to the area the 3D model to where a fire device has been activated to begin immediate investigation.

iVENCS-FIRE provides the full capabilities of the iVENCS 3D User Interface for monitoring a Fire Alarm System for faults and alarms, and allows the operator to easily manage a fire incident. The 3D UI is far superior to traditional 2D UIs – enabling the operators to visualise a fire and its surroundings, and the ability to integrate the site Voice Alarm and other systems such as CCTV give unparalleled control of an emergency.

On alarm, the 3D UI will automatically zoom to display the evacuation zone where the device has been activated. In addition the UI will show the relevant muster and fire control points.

Immediate Response

With iVENCS Fire, operators are given a longer response time possible. Users are alerted to an event as soon as it occurs and are directed to the location of the event. Automated cause and effect responses for fire incident scenarios can be set up in advance, so if a particular device were to be activated, the site’s operational or evacuation plan is automatically kick-started and operators are guided on-screen as to their required actions according to a pre-set plan to aid calm management of the incident.

And for larger sites that require collaboration in the event of a fire incident, an inter-user message board allows operators to communicate in quick time to ensure incident management and evacuation happens swiftly and safely.

Fire System Maintenance

A maintainer’s area provides dedicated functions for a fire alarm system’s maintenance team. A comprehensive list of all fire devices along with their statuses, cause and effect rules and integration settings allows operators to quickly view a device, makes changes and disable devices all from one workstation.

For all fire devices on the site, a maintainer’s log shows operators and engineers a view of all recorded maintenance activities, previous faults and status histories to help speed up maintenance procedures and device checks.


Module Integration

The iVENCS Fire module can be combined with other modules for comprehensive site management.

The iVENCS Public Address module when combined with iVENCS Fire allows operators to manually evacuate an area via microphone broadcast when a fire has been detected, directly to the affected area and straight from the workstation. When joined with iVENCS CCTV, workstations can be set to automatically display and direct the operator to a fire incident detected by a CCTV camera as it occurs, allowing real-time view of the fire event for immediate visual feedback on the severity of the situation.

In the event of a fire, every second is critical. iVENCS aids site managers in quickening response times and achieving affective incident management that greatly reduces the risk of asset loss, property damage and personal injury.