- Local Operating Console (LOC) – Section 188.8.131.52.1: “Mass notification systems shall include a system operating console(s) for authorized occupants to readily access and originate messages in emergency situations.”
- Autonomous Control Unit (ACU) - Section 184.108.40.206.1: “the building autonomous control unit shall monitor and control the notification appliance network.” At the ACU, authorized personnel can initiate delivery of pre-recorded voice messages, provide live voice messages and instructions, and initiate visual strobe and alphanumeric message notification appliances.
- Fire Alarm Control Interface – Section 220.127.116.11.1.1: “Where a fire alarm system is installed covering all or part of the same building or other area as the mass notification system, an interface shall be provided between the systems for operational coordination purposes.” This connection will allow the ECS to override fire alarm audio and visual notification appliances.
- Interface to Other Systems and Alerting Sources – A variety of systems that “shall be permitted” to interface or connect with an ECS/MNS are discussed throughout the latest Chapter 12 draft, including air handling control, door control, elevator controls, public address systems and wide-area (outdoor) notification systems.
- Notification Appliance Network – This network consists of a set of audio speakers, strobes, and text signs (when required) that are located to alert occupants and provide intelligible voice and visual instructions. A number of these devices must be installed in adherence to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements too.
In conformance with the latest draft of 2010 NFPA 72 codes, manufacturers like Gamewell-FCI have developed high-tech, low-cost combination fire alarm/ECS solutions for new construction and renovation applications.
Beth Welch is the manager of public relations for Gamewell-FCI, Northford, Conn., part of Honeywell Fire Systems.
MNS and ECS Resources
These companies offer mass notification and emergency communications:
This list is based on independent research by SD&I magazine and may not be all-inclusive.
AtHoc Inc.— www.athoc.com
Cooper Notification— www.coopernotification.com
Federal Signal— www.federalsignal.com
Fire-Lite Alarms— www.firelite.com
Honeywell (REACT partnership)— www.honeywell.com/security
King-Fisher Company— www.kfci.com
MadahCom Inc.-- www.madah.com
3n (National Notification Network) — www.3nonline.com
Potter Electric Signal Co— www.pottersignal.com
Signal Communications Corp.— www.sigcom.com
Simplex Grinnell— www.simplexgrinnell.com
Spacenet Inc.— www.spacenet.com
STI (Safety Technology International)— www.sti-usa.com
SWN Communications (Send Word Now)— www.sendwordnow.com
TOA Electronics Inc.—www.toaelectronics.com