Shopping malls, corporate complexes, and public schools of all sizes are supposed to be safe places to learn, work, and perform everyday tasks. However, even the most secure facility is not immune to dangerous situations. Natural disasters such as fires and earthquakes, as well as other threats, can occur without warning. With hundreds or even thousands of people in these facilities at any given time, a reliable emergency communications system (ECS) is imperative.

In the U.S., public buildings are required to comply with regulations set forth by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) part 72. We discussed NFPA Part 72 regulations at length in a previous post. In general, NFPA 72 defines three critical terms every ECS must address: audibility, intelligible, and intelligibility. Audibility requires the alarm tone to be 15 dB above any ambient noise — but only the alarm tone, not voice messaging. Intelligible is the ability to understand any directions communicated. Intelligibility is the acoustic measurement of a space to provide the optimal environment for hearing the system’s voice messages.

We designed Vocia to intelligently and automatically address each of the terms within the 2016 NFPA 72 code. Emergency situations are unpredictable. However, with a Vocia solution in place, you can rest assured that emergency alerts and other relevant messages will be audible and intelligible, and will be transmitted effectively to the affected buildings. Stay tuned for the next Vocia post, where we’ll discuss IBC 2015 changes. In the meantime, we invite you to learn more about Vocia and what it can do for your installations.