Voice Evacuation an introduction
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Voice Evacuation • Research has proven that in an emergency people will react without confusion or panic if they receive a clear, intelligible message. • Bells and sounders only give a warning, they do not indicate the nature of the emergency. • Phased evacuation using clear, easily understood, pre-recorded messages ensures that even untrained personnel are evacuated speedily and efficiently.
Voice Evacuationwhat is it? • An effective alternative to standard bells and sounders – using the spoken word for evacuating premises during an emergency. • Often referred to as ‘voice alarm’, ‘VA’ or ‘VE’. • Needs to be fully compliant with BS5839-8, BSEN54-16 and EN60849. • Serves as a general public address system during normal circumstances. • Provides companies with facilities such as advertisement injection, background music, timed message announcements – and much more.
Voice Evacuationin brief • A ‘building’ is ‘divided’ into separate areas (zones). • Zones can be ‘spoken to’ (broadcast to) individually, several at once or as an ‘all call’. • During an emergency people are informed – via the spoken word – what is happening and what to do. • Evacuation control is either via pre-recorded messages and/or via emergency fire microphones. • The system is fully monitored (BS5839-8), with any faults reported, so that it will work when needed – during an emergency.
Voice Evacuationwhy do we need it? • Those most at risk can be evacuated first. • Phased evacuation can be pre-planned. • Emergency messages can be stored on the system and broadcast by automatic or manual means. • Fire officers/building management can broadcast ‘live’ at any time. • Panic is reduced due to the controlled nature of the evacuation. • Quite simply: voice alarm helps save lives during an emergency.
..WITHOUT Voice Evacuation • A ‘break glass’ box or ‘fire detector’ is activated. • An alarm is sounded – normally a bell/klaxon style alarm. • Initially, it is usual for people to carry on as normal. • Vital seconds – or minutes – are lost. • After a while people become curious and eventually start to move. • People habitually exit via the same route they entered – this may be the longest (or most dangerous) route. • Unfortunately, such inaction can, and does, end in tragedy.
..WITH Voice Evacuation • A ‘break glass’ box or ‘fire detector’ is activated. • The fire alarm panel activates the voice alarm system messages. • Emergency messages are broadcast to areas at risk. • Areas of high risk are informed of any necessary action – ie ‘evacuate’. • Areas of low risk are ‘alerted’ to the situation – ‘phased evacuation’. • Real time information may be broadcast by the emergency services to prevent people moving into danger. • Result – immediate action – calm, controlled and SAFE evacuation.
Centralised Voice Evacuation • Usually offered for single building installations. • All loudspeaker lines derived from a single location.
Decentralised Voice Evacuation • Usually offered on site wired installations where a number of buildings need to be covered.
System Priorities • A voice alarm system has various inputs, which must be prioritised. This ensures the most important input (ie fire officer’s microphone) overrides any other. • Typical priorities are as follows: Priority settings on VIGIL EVAS systems can be easily changed to suit individual requirements.
Fire Microphone Weatherproof enclosure. Fist microphone. Has top priority – overrides all other microphones and inputs to the voice evacuation system. Used by firemen/building control to override emergency broadcasts – either as a ‘zone select’ or ‘all call’. Any other messages being transmitted to zones will be interrupted when the fire microphone is activated.
Microphone Controller Operated by the designated person to control the evacuation using voice announcements – live or recorded. Can also be used as a fire or paging microphone. Selects music source. Ability to test the system via pre-recorded ‘start’ and ‘end’ test messages. During an emergency, assumes ‘emergency control mode’ and is given a higher priority.
Router The voice alarm router is connected to the fire detection system of a building. The fire detection system triggers the VA system to evacuate and alert automatically. Provides full system status monitoring and fault reporting. The router receives various inputs including microphones, spot announcers, etc. It outputs the ‘priority’ signal, via the amplifier(s), to relevant loudspeaker circuits (zones).
Amplifier Receives the input from the microphone (or other source) (via the router) and amplifies (broadcasts) it to the relevant zones. Several amplifiers will be built into a voice alarm rack, with each amplifier broadcasting to specific zones (circuits) within the building. Available in different power options to suit system requirements.
Batteries • A voice evacuation system must work during an emergency – even if the mains power has failed. • Backup batteries included in the system must be of a suitable ‘size’. • Calculations for battery sizes are made at the design stage of a system. • Typically, the system is capable of being battery-backed for 24 hours quiescent and 30 minutes at full power (to meet the requirements of BS5839-8).
Messages • Flash memory, recordable by client. • Digital WAV files. • CD quality. • 57 second duration for each message. • Constantly monitored. • Triggered by fire panel or manually. Alert Evac Test
Music Input • A source of music which is installed in the voice alarm rack – such as an MP3 or CD player. • Used to broadcast background music to zones selected. • Typically the lowest priority in a voice alarm system. • Will be overridden in the event of an emergency.
Typical Office Block or Hotel EVACUATE GROUND LEVEL
Fire Microphone • Single, four or eight zone. • Lockable IP66 steel enclosure. • Zone status indicators. • Speak now indicator. • Speech volume indicator. • Option to fit ‘processor bypass’ hard-wired press-to-talk switch. • Option to fit flip-top switches to enable DVA (digital voice announcement) messages to be broadcast. • Fully monitored. BFM400 range
Microphone Controller • Available in eight versions – from 8-zone up to 64-zone. • Performs as a paging or fire microphone with an optional ‘all call’ processor bypass facility. • LCD displays showing zone name and status. • Red buttons for emergency messages – operated by key switch. • Fault indicators. • Up to 30 messages available to operator (stored on EVAS routers). • Five programmable function keys. • Fully monitored. • RJ45/CAT5 connection. BVRD range
Touchscreen Paging Station • Operator selects options by simply touching the screen prompts. • Graphics can be displayed as either virtual buttons or as a topographical layout (pictured). • All functions: message selection, zone selection, paging, message recording, background music, etc – can be performed from the paging station. • Industrial, solid state fan-less computer (no moving parts. • High definition LCD display. Unitouch
Router • Eight inputs and seven outputs. • Inputs 1&2 with processor bypass. • One failsafe emergency ‘all call’ message. • Six messages stored in flash memory. • USB2 port to configure unit/upload messages, etc. • Realtime clock – fault logging, history, night time volume, etc. • CANBUS ports to connect with modules, simple rack wiring. • Parametric EQ on all inputs and outputs. • Auto amplifier changeover (1 in 10). DSP-controlled BVRD2M
Expansion facilities • 1U in height. • Up to five slave units can be added to one BVRD2M master. • Each BVRD2S adds: • 12 audio inputs. • 16 audio outputs. • 12 messages. • Each BVRD2SLT adds: • 6 audio inputs. • 8 audio outputs. • 6 messages. • Mount directly on top of BVRD2M – connections are made using RJ45. BVRD2S & BVRD2SLT slave units
Mini Router • Four inputs and four outputs. • One failsafe emergency ‘all call’ message. • Six messages stored in flash memory. • Realtime clock – fault logging, history, night time volume, etc. • Parametric EQ on all inputs and outputs. • Fits alongside a VIGIL2 amplifier and BVSMP power supply in one 19” frame. • Fully monitored. DSP-controlled BVRD2M4
ECLIPSE3 • Wall-mountable, stand-alone system, complete with battery backup. • All the facilities of the BVRD2M4. • Up to two VIGIL2 amplifiers can be fitted (any combination): • BV225 – 225 Watt single amplifier. • BV125 – 125 Watt dual amplifier. • BV050Q – 50 Watt quad amplifier. • Ideal for decentralised networking or tenant systems. • Fully monitored. • Optional ‘all call’ fire microphone on front panel. VA/PA system
Amplifiers • Class D – 80% efficient. • Compact. • Sleep mode – automatically reducing standby requirements to 50mA per amplifier when operating on batteries. • Rated power obtainable from 22V battery supply. • Over-temperature protection. • The BV225 can be paralleled. BV225, BV125D, BV050Q
DC line monitor/ isolator • Enables dual loudspeaker circuits to connect to a single amplifier. • Each BVRDADIS unit provides both A&B circuits for two amplifiers. • Up to 10 spurs per loudspeaker line. • The BVRDADIM master unit connects to the BVRD2M router. • Up to five BVRDADIS can be connected to one BVRDADIM. • Utilises DC line monitoring techniques, therefore, BEL1 end of line monitoring is not required. BVRDADIM & BVRDADIS
PSU Charger • Switch mode power supplies. • Two individually protected outputs at 24V (one on the BVSMPLT). • Built-in deep battery discharge cut off. • Standby batteries are continually ‘float charged’. • A protected output is provided to power a mixer or auxiliary circuit. • Several chargers may be paralleled when used for larger systems. • Fully monitored. BVSMP & BVSMPLT
DSP Network • Provides digital networking facilities for the VIGIL2 range. • Connected in a loop configuration. • Continues to function in the event of cabling damage at a single location. • The network can be copper, fibre or a combination of both. • Two RS485 and up to fourteen concurrent audio channels. • Network status indicators. • Up to 126 VIGIL2 EVAS systems can be digitally networked. • Fully monitored. BVRDNETBVRDCIF & BVRDFIF
BS5839-8 • At least two interleaved loudspeaker circuits are required in order to ensure adequate coverage should one circuit fail (4,000m2/500 members of the public). • Cabling for dual circuits must not be contained in one single sheath. • Processor controlled system must: • Have restricted access for system configuration data. • Not use rotary discs or other moving parts. • Be monitored i.e. ‘watchdog’. • The network between subsystems must be monitored in accordance with requirements (12.1).
BS5839-8 • System monitoring should include the following: • Normal/standby power. • Battery chargers. • Fuses and protective devices. • Critical signal paths. • Emergency messages. • Loudspeaker circuits. • Main and standby amplifiers. • Select wires on a multi-zone emergency microphone. • All links between a decentralised system. • Detection of missing modules or amplifiers within the critical signal path. • Automatic level controllers must be monitored and should failsafe to a pre-determined level, not mute.
BS5839-8 • The system should latch the input condition from the fire panel ensuring that if a link is broken the alarm broadcast continues. Reset is achieved by a separate signal from the fire panel. • After reset the system should be capable of producing a general evacuate broadcast within 30 seconds. • The fire alarm interface and VACIE must be separated by no greater than 10m, unless duplicate circuits are used. • Any fault should be indicated within 100 seconds. • Standby batteries to have capacity for 24hrs quiescent followed by 30 mins all zones evacuate. • 120 min enhanced fire resisting cables to be used in unsprinklered buildings having a phased evacuation, or buildings over 30m high or where the risk assessment demands.
EN54-16 • Many European countries adopted this standard in April 2011. • All voice alarm manufacturers need their products third party tested by an accredited test house. • Specifiers, consultants, installers and end users need to ensure that the voice alarm equipment supplied has full EN54-16 third party certification. • All manufacturers must have relevant factory production control procedures in place – i.e. EN ISO9001-2000. • Power supplies need to meet EN54-4. • Loudspeakers need to meet EN54-24. • Annual inspections of the factory will be carried out by the test house. • All future product enhancements will need to be submitted for testing.
EN54-16 • VIGIL2 voice alarm products have full BSEN54-16:2008 certification (including BSEN54-4:2008 for power supplies). • Our requirement for CE marking. • Baldwin Boxall has all relevant EN54 certificates (no price increase has been passed on to customers as a result). • Any Baldwin Boxall supplied system can be upgraded to meet EN54-16. • The UK is currently exempt from EN54-16 regulations. • The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) takes effect from 1st July 2013. All voice alarm manufacturers will need to comply from this date for UK sales.