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ISCVE announces launch of Voice Alarm Standards
UK – The Institute of Sound, Communications and Visual Engineers (ISCVE) has announced the launch of its Voice Alarm Standards manifesto. The new manifesto has been borne out of research carried out by the Institute following a detailed questionnaire of more than 100 international companies working within the voice alarm sector.
There are currently no laws requiring voice alarm systems to be installed anywhere in the UK. Fire detection in general must be ‘appropriate’ but this isn’t defined. A licensing authority can insist on a voice alarm system as part of the planning permission requirements, but mainly the take-up is ‘where it makes sense.’
With the launch of this new manifesto ISCVE is lobbying for a clearer UK legislature for this vital aspect of fire safety with the ambition of bringing it more in line with international practices.
Neil Voce, lobbying chairman for ISCVE comments: “Our ambition is to promote the Voice Alarm Standards manifesto to and with the fire industry, regulators and licensing and authority bodies, stretching as far as the government, if we can.
“We have added a lot of information to the ISCVE website covering the results of the survey we undertook, also a video interview highlighting the discussion on this topic and the manifesto document as an outcome.
“One of our ideas is that the next time someone asks ‘where should a voice alarm system be installed?’ ISCVE members and the industry as a whole, will have a suitable well-documented response to offer, which we hope will be found to be invaluable,” concludes Voce.
Jim Smith, associate director, AECOM adds: “Voice alarm (VA) systems have long been considered a grudge purchase by some businesses, and sadly we still encounter this attitude even in the wake of recent tragedies where such systems might have helped to save lives. The lack of definitive guidance and legislation regulating the design, installation and maintenance of these systems – or even the most basic guidance as to which buildings require voice alarm – does nothing to discourage this. Clear guidance is required to promote a culture where due care and attention is paid to providing safe environments through the use of competently designed, installed and maintained voice alarm systems. Well done ISCVE for taking an active role and the first steps toward trying to make this happen.”
Jim Gilroy, audio systems manager, Protec Fire Detection comments: “A voice alarm system is a life safety system that has been proven, in many studies, to be significantly more effective in evacuating people from a building than traditional bells and sounders. None more so than in buildings open to the public where people may be unfamiliar with their surroundings. Hopefully, this initiative by the ISCVE will reach the decision makers and bring to fruition this long overdue legislation.”
14th May 2021
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