Each audio installation is unique, and different jobs require different solutions in order to meet the specific needs of a particular business or organization. When life safety paging is needed, a distributed Networked Media System is the best approach. Most public buildings, such as hospitals, universities, and some corporate offices, require some type of life safety and evacuation paging infrastructure. A decentralized paging system lacks a single point of failure, which is required for critical communications. If one part of the system fails for any reason, the remainder of the system will continue to operate normally. As long as a paging station and an outlet remain operational, the paging system will still be able to communicate safety instructions to people.

Consider a multi-wing hospital as an example. Each floor of the hospital includes a nurse call station, which is capable of paging to the floor. The ground floor of each wing includes an access point for firefighters and other emergency personnel who might need to access the building. In a disaster event that impacts one of the wings of the hospital, the remaining elements of the system can automatically route signals everywhere, and will continue to work.

Zoned paging allows administrators to communicate with designated zones across a building or a campus. For example, if a pipe bursts in a dorm building on a college campus, the university can issue a page to that zone telling residents to evacuate, but no other zones will receive the alert. However, if there is a threat to the entire university, the administrators can make a campus-wide announcement.

In addition to the peace of mind that comes from lacking a single point of potential failure, decentralized systems offer lower total cost of ownership. The most obvious cost benefits are for incremental additions. As a system expands, only the incremental equipment needs to be purchased. This prevents over-provisioning the first deployment. The less obvious benefit is the downtime for system maintenance. Units can either be replaced or repaired while the rest of the system is still in an operational state. In a critical paging environment, any time the system needs maintenance is a window of time in which the integrity of the system is not at 100%. In decentralized systems, only the local zone would be impacted.

A decentralized paging system ensures that critical communications can transmitted throughout a facility. Plus when comparing the whole cost of deploying, adding, or maintaining a life safety paging system, a decentralized approach has a lower total cost. These factors make a decentralized system an excellent choice for a variety of installations, structures, and campuses that require life safety paging.