BS 5839-9:2011 Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. Code of practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency voice communication systems

BS 5839-9 primarily relates to the use of emergency voice communication (EVC) in assisting both firefighters and those responsible for evacuating buildings or sports stadiums in fire emergency situations, including evacuation of disabled persons. Use, other than in fire emergency situations, by disabled persons and others, although not precluded, is not addressed in detail.

BS 5839-9 provides recommendations for the planning, design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of emergency voice communication systems in and around buildings and at sports, entertainment and similar venues. It does not recommend whether or not an emergency voice communication system should be installed in a given premises.

BS 5839-9 covers systems with components linked by wires, wirelessly, or a combination of both. Other than in exceptional circumstances, EVC systems are not intended as the means of raising a fire alarm, in lieu of manual call points. Refer to BS 5839-1 for guidance on fire detection and alarm systems.

Voice alarm systems are primarily intended for the automatic broadcasting of evacuation messages; they are covered by BS 5839-8 and are therefore excluded from this part of BS 5839.

Contents for BS 5839-9:2011 includes: 

Section 1: General

  • Scope
  • Normative references
  • Terms and definitions
  • Need for an emergency voice communication system
  • Exchange of information and definition of responsibilities
  • Variations from the recommendations of this standard

Section 2: Design considerations

  • Purpose
  • System circuitry and software
  • Audio and data signal paths
  • Fault monitoring and indication
  • Outstations
  • Master stations
  • Power supplies
  • Cables, wiring and other interconnections
  • Wireless-linked EVC systems
  • Environmental conditions
  • Electromagnetic compatibility
  • Electrical safety

Section 3: Installation

  • Responsibility of installer
  • Installation practices and workmanship
  • Testing of wiring

Section 4: Commissioning and handover

  • Commissioning
  • Documentation
  • Certification
  • Acceptance
  • Verification
  • Training

Section 5: Maintenance

  • Routine testing
  • Inspection and servicing
  • Non-routine attention

Section 6: User responsibilities

  • Responsible person
  • Logbook


This part of BS 5839 supersedes BS 5839-9:2003, which is withdrawn.

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