BS 5839-8 gives recommendations for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of voice alarm systems which automatically broadcast speech or warning tones, in response to signals from their associated fire detection and alarm systems. It also covers systems that include a manual facility for the transmission of live voice messages as well as automatically generated messages for emergency purposes. The fire detection and fire alarm systems themselves are covered by BS 5839-1.
Systems that depend solely upon manual intervention are not covered by BS 5839-8. However, BS 5839-8 can be used for guidance in the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of such systems.
BS 5839-8 applies to extensions and alterations to existing systems in respect of the design, installation, commissioning, maintenance, and the certification of the new work, albeit that the extended or altered system might not, overall, conform to this standard.
This new edition of BS 5839-8 takes into account changes in technology, custom and practice since the publication of BS 5839-8:1998 and introduces the following principal changes:
• “types” of voice alarm systems have been introduced to recognize and identify the different configurations of systems that can be used and their specific operational needs;
• the need is clearly identified for the building evacuation plan to be based on a risk assessment by a competent person;
• recommendations in the use of voice sounders have been included as a clause in the main part of the code as opposed to an Annex, thus recognizing their increased acceptability in simpler voice alarm systems where manual control is not required;
• recommendations for voice alarm control and indicating equipment and power supply equipment have been rewritten taking into account that the new harmonized European standards,
Note that BS 7827 provides further recommendations in respect of sports venues.
A guidance book for voice alarms and BS 5839-8 is available
The design and installation of voice alarm systems. A guide to BS 5839-8
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