SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Sept. 25, 2006) - Who hasn't experienced the frustration of trying to understand what's being said through a subway station sound system or the drive-through at a fast-food restaurant? Then imagine what might happen in a situation where people need to evacuate a building, but can't hear the emergency voice instructions.
That type of real-life scenario underscores the importance of a new visual text messaging display unit from SimplexGrinnell that will advance the emergency notification capabilities of its addressable Simplex fire alarm systems.
The Simplex TrueAlert Text Messaging Appliance, an electronic readerboard with an easy-to-read, two-line LED display for text messages, will be demonstrated for the first time at this week's ASIS International 2006 Seminar and Exhibits in San Diego.
The new TrueAlert technology can be used in school gymnasiums, factories, train stations, airport terminals, office buildings and other locations to notify people of an emergency and instruct them what to do. Powered and controlled through a Simplex fire alarm panel, the TrueAlert text messaging appliance enhances emergency communications in places where high ambient noise levels or poor acoustic conditions may compromise the effectiveness of voice communications. The visual text messaging device can also be useful in providing emergency notification to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
"In an emergency, it's critical to get information to people," says John Haynes, Director of Marketing at SimplexGrinnell. "We found in our speech intelligibility testing that there are certain fire alarm applications where emergency voice messages are difficult to hear. In these situations, the intelligibility problem can't necessarily be solved by increasing the volume or adding more speakers. The TrueAlert visual text messaging appliance is a good technical alternative that can meet code requirements and provide appropriate visual information to guide people in an emergency."
A Heightened Profile for Life-Safety Protection The introduction of the Simplex TrueAlert Text Messaging Appliance comes at a time when the protection of life and property has taken on more significance than ever. Fire alarm systems incorporating voice communications capabilities are widely used to provide mass notification to warn building occupants of fire conditions as well as other emergency situations, such as severe weather alerts and chemical spills. SimplexGrinnell is at the forefront of the movement toward broader use of emergency notification systems, and the TrueAlert visual text messaging appliance builds on the advanced addressable notification technology of Simplex fire alarm systems.
Wall or Ceiling Mounted The TrueAlert visual display unit connects to a Simplex fire panel and can be mounted to a wall or suspended from the ceiling. Pre-programmed emergency messages are stored in the display panel's memory, and activated in an emergency through an interface to the fire control panel. The text messages, similar to audio messages delivered through a voice evacuation system, are intended to supplement other audible and strobe-type notification devices.
A patent is pending for the TrueAlert text messaging appliance, which includes the following features:
* Up to 32 pre-programmed emergency text messages
* The display lines can be either static words or scrolling text for longer messages.
* The displays can also provide general, non-emergency messages during non-alarm periods.
* The unit is designed for alarm messaging to take precedence over non-alarm general content.