The installations of sound evacuation or EVAC are advanced systems that broadcast emergency messages to facilitate and speed up evacuation procedures from buildings and public spaces. Such systems are essential when dangerous situations occur such as fires and other types of emergencies.
EVAC systems fulfil European regulations EN54-16 and EN54-24They must therefore always be type-approved and certified. Also the New Fire Prevention Code of 03/08/2015 emphasises the importance of this type of solution especially for public spaces and structurally complex buildings. However, there are some activities that expressly require the installation of this type of system according to specific fire prevention or occupational safety regulations. Here are some examples:
- Schools with more than 500 people (DM 26/8/92)
- Commercial activities exceeding 400 square metres (DM 27/07/2010)
- Health facilities and hospitals (DM 18/9/02)
- Buildings of historical and artistic interest such as museums, galleries, libraries, etc. (DM 20/5/92 No. 569 e Presidential Decree 30/6/95 No. 418
- Places of public entertainment (DM 19/8/96)
- Hotel facilities with more than 25 beds (DM 9/4/94)
- Sports facilities with more than 100 spectators (DM 18/3/96)
- Offices with more than 100 people (DM 22/02/2006)
EVAC systems can also be installed in ATEX zonesi.e. those environments with a risk of explosion such as chemical, pharmaceutical or petrochemical industries, gas heating plants, bakeries, kitchens and distilleries.
Why install an Evac system?
As confirmed by studies, the classic alarms which do not specify the reason for the emergency in many cases can be counterproductive, as by leaving people in uncertainty they are often ignored. Conversely, by receiving a clear and understandable message, people react without panicking by moving quickly away from the danger zone. This is why the installation of a sound evacuation system represents an important step forward in terms of security.
For example, in cases where complex emergency procedures such as themulti-stage evacuation of different environments, it becomes essential to have a system that allows people in the danger zone to be evacuated first and then those in neighbouring areas. At the same time, when there are no emergencies in progress, the loudspeakers of the evac systems can also be used for the broadcasting of music background or advertising messages, allowing aoptimisation of the investment.
What advantages do certified and integrable systems offer?
Firstly, a fire evacuation system must be reliable to protect people's safety. However, only a few solutions allow projects:
- scalable and tailor-made;
- high performance;
Opting for systems from thescalable architecture it is possible to relocate amplification units. By doing so, the concentration of cables in one place can be avoided, thus reducing laying costs. In addition, systems with a modular design and thus more flexible can be easily adapted to future needs, simplifying procedures for expansion or modification of the evac system.
As mentioned, sound evacuation systems can also be used for the audio broadcasting. It is clear that in order to achieve high quality performance, it is essential to have integrable solutions. A good example is the 4EVAC naturally integrating with the best brands in the field of sound diffusion (Qsc, K-Array, Ecler) ensure premium quality output in addition to installation benefits. This feature makes 4Evac systems ideal for facilities such as stages, shopping centres, shops and all public places where there is such a requirement.
However, safety always remains the main element to consider when it comes to sound evacuation. That is why it is important to choose systems easy to programme and with a well-organised software package.
The definitive guide on evac
To explore these issues in more detail Irbema has produced a guide designed for installers, designers and professionals fire-fighting.