BIP 2124:2009 - The design and installation of voice alarm systems. A guide to BS 5839-8 – BSI British Standards
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BIP 2124:2009

The design and installation of voice alarm systems. A guide to BS 5839-8

Status : Revised, Withdrawn   Published : June 2009 Replaced By : BIP 2124:2013


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The Design and Installation of Voice Alarm Systems. A Guide to BS 5839-8

Douglas F. Mason and Colin S. Todd

The Design and Installation of Voice Alarm Systems is the essential guide to the British standard BS 5839-8. The book offers in-depth analysis of the key standard against which voice alarm systems for fire warning are designed, commissioned, installed and maintained.

This practical book gives detailed guidance for voice alarm systems and will be of interest to fire safety professionals, building control officers, environmental health officers, consulting engineers, electrical contractors and the main users of voice alarm systems.


How will the guide to BS 5839-8 help me? The book

  • Explains the reasons for the recommendations in the Code
  • Outlines the consequences of failures to satisfy the recommendations
  • Provides detailed guidance on how to satisfy the recommendations.

The book offers clear guidance with plenty of examples, and explains the reasoning behind the recommendations made in BS 5839-8, with detailed guidance on how to meet the recommendations.

It also covers voice alarm systems use for purposes other than fire warning.

About the authors:

Colin Todd is a leading specialist in fire detection and fire alarm systems. Active on national fire technical committees and has drafted numerous codes and standards, including A Guide to BS 5839-1 and A Guide to BS 5839-6.

Douglas Mason is a senior consultant in fire protection. He is a chartered engineer, corporate member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and a member of the Audio Engineering Society. He is a past Chair of the working group for British Fire Protection Systems Association Code of Practice for Voice Alarm Systems, and a BSI committee member for BS 5839-8:2008.

Contents of the Guide to BS 5839-8 include:

  • Introduction
  • Voice alarm systems and standards – a short history
  • The role of voice alarm systems in fire warning
  • Scope of BS 5839-8
  • Contents of the Code
  • Defining the terms
  • Types of systems and the evacuation plan
  • System planning considerations, including exchange of information and responsibilities and variations
  • Interface between the voice alarm system and the fire detection and fire alarm system
  • Fault monitoring, integrity and reliability of circuits external to the VACIE
  • Typical arrangements of voice alarm systems
  • Voice alarm control and indicating equipment (VACIE)
  • Power supplies
  • Use of voice alarm systems for purposes other than warning of fire
  • Loudspeakers, loudspeaker zones and loudspeaker circuits
  • Power amplifiers
  • Ambient noise sensing and compensation
  • Emergency and non-emergency messages
  • Audibility and intelligibility
  • Emergency message generators
  • Emergency microphones
  • Wiring
  • Radio-linked systems
  • Voice sounders
  • Climatic and environmental conditions, radio and electrical interference and electrical safety
  • Installation
  • Commissioning and handover
  • Maintenance
  • User responsibilities
  • This is what the trade journals have said about this guide to voice alarm systems:

    "The authors give a valuable insight in to the benefits of effective implementation of the British Standard through consideration of the consequences of non-compliance." Building Engineer

    "This practical book will be of interest to the main users of voice alarm systems." Fire Safety Professional (IFPO)

    "With what is described as a clear approach and through numerous examples, the book explains the reasoning behind the recommendations made in BS 5839-8 and provides detailed guidance on how the recommendations can be satisfied." Fire Safety Engineering

    If you are interested in fire safety and fire alarms, the following publications may also be of interest.

     BS 5839-1:2002+A2:2008  Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for system design, installation, commissioning and maintenance

    BS 5839-8:2008 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of voice alarm systems

    Standard NumberBIP 2124:2009
    TitleThe design and installation of voice alarm systems. A guide to BS 5839-8
    StatusRevised, Withdrawn
    Publication Date02 June 2009
    Withdrawn Date31 January 2014
    Replaced ByBIP 2124:2013
    DescriptorsFire alarms, Fire detectors, Alarm systems, Fire safety in buildings, Fire safety, Buildings, Speech transmission systems, Design, Installation, Maintenance, Amplifiers, Microphones, Languages, Audibility, Control equipment, Signal devices, Visual signals, Electric power systems, Electric cables, Electric wiring systems, Interference suppression, Noise (environmental), Emergency electrical installations
    ISBN978 0 580 66963 7
    File Size2.643 MB

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