New codes and standards especially the new UL Standard 2572, the U.S. Department of Defence’s UFC 4-021-01 Design and O&M Mass Notification Systems, and NFPA 72 2010 edition Chapter 24 have led Fire Alarm System Manufacturers to expand their systems voice evacuation capabilities to support new requirements for mass notification including support for multiple types of emergency messaging (i.e. inclement weather emergency, security alerts, amber alerts). The major requirements of a mass notification system are to provided prioritized messaging according to the local facilities emergency response plan. The emergency response team must define the priority of potential emergency events at site and the fire alarm system must be able to support the promotion and demotion of notifications based on this emergency response plan. EmergencyCommunication System’s also have requirements for visible notification in coordination with any audible notification activities to meet requirements of the American’s with Disabilities Act. Recently many manufacturer’s have made efforts to certify their equipment to meet these new and emerging standards including The Mircom Group of Companies. Mass Notification System Categories include the following:
Tier 1 Systems are In-Building and provide the highest level of survivability
Tier 2 Systems are Out of the Building and provide the middle level of survivability
Tier 3 Systems are “At Your Side” and provide the lowest level of survivability
Notification Systems often extend the notification appliances of a standard fire alarm system to include PC based workstations, text based digital signage, and a variety of remote notification options including email, text message, rss feed, or IVR based telephone text-to-speech messaging.