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The Value of Audible And Visible Fire Alarm Systems

By March 8, 2017Fire Safety News
Audible Fire Alarm

Audible and visible fire alarm systems were designed to offer fire protection Toronto to those building occupants with disabilities. Individuals with vision impairment as well as deaf people may not be able to react to traditional fire alarm systems.

What Are Audible Fire Alarms?

To make sure building occupants with vision impairment are also alerted of the fire danger, the fire alarm should have loud sirens. The volume needs to be high enough so that people who have hearing difficulties can be fully aware of the emergency situation.

Fire alarms should be designed to exceed the noise level of the room to a certain extent. This is usually given at 15 A-weighted decibles. The fire alarm should also go off for at least 60 seconds. These guidelines are put in place to make sure the alarms grab the attention of building occupants no matter how noisy the building is.

Audible alarms should not exceed a sound level of 120dbA. This is because very loud sirens are often known to result in panic and confusion. Most people will find it difficult to yell whenever there is a very loud siren hence the sound level should be kept within the required range.

Additionally, audible fire alarms should have a sound that can be easily distinguished from the prevailing sound in the room. Occupants of the building should quickly tell that the fire alarm has gone off when they hear a different sound. Failure to meet the above guidelines when it comes to audible fire alarms can deny you occupancy.

Guidelines On Visible Fire Alarms

Fire alarms should be designed with features that notify deaf people of the impending emergency. These features include flashing lights and text banners. When choosing fire alarm systems with visible features, you need to ensure that they are not distractive or unsafe for users to look at directly. For instance, there are some flashing lights that can cause seizures in people who suffer from photosensitive epilepsy. There are guidelines on how the flashing lights should operate. For instance, all strobes in a single viewing area are required to flash in synchrony.

The flashing lights of a fire alarm should be visible in any room or hallway in the building. Building owners should ensure that the visible alarms are not spaced too far apart from one another. Otherwise, the building could be denied occupancy because of this. For instance, if the building’s corridor measures 20 feet wide, it needs to have visible alarms installed 15 feet of either end. This will ensure that the lights remain visible regardless of someone’s location in the hallway.

The other important consideration when choosing a visual alarm is its color. Flashing lights need to be clear with a specific brightness rating of not less than 1000 candelas. In buildings that are very brightly lit, the visual alarms need to stand out. If the light used is too dim or blends with other lights in the building, it may cause confusion and fail to alert people of the impending hazard.