With over 100,000 fires in buildings every year in the UK, an Emergency Voice Communication system is vital to guarantee the safety and successful evacuation of all people within your building.
What is an EVC system?
An Emergency Voice Communication (EVC) system provides two-way communication between a central control point and other “outstations” located throughout a building. Primarily for use in the event of an emergency, an EVC system is designed to aid the evacuation of disabled people from a disabled refuge area.
Here are 5 major reasons you need to install an EVC system:
1. Observe the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order
All buildings are required by law to comply with fire safety regulations. As the ‘responsible person’ of a building, it is your duty to assess any potential risks, manage the mitigation of these risks and determine how to safely remove everyone within your building. This means it is compulsory to ensure that you have considered all means of escape, incorporating alternative arrangements for safely evacuating someone with a disability.
2. Comply with building regulations
‘Refuge areas’ are a designated temporary waiting area, where disabled people can call for assistance and securely wait until help arrives. Current building regulations stipulate that refuge areas are required in all non-domestic premises with more than one storey. An Emergency Voice Communication system is a crucial element of a refuge area that helps to ensure an effective evacuation.
3. Provide two-way communication
An EVC system provides two-way voice communication between building management/ emergency services and those waiting in the refuge area. Giving emergency services the scope to offer constant reassurance to those who are waiting, avoid further danger and navigate compromised locations.
4. Meet British Standards
Installing an EVC system helps you to meet British Standards BS5839-9: Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings. These standards include the latest regulatory and legislative requirements for building evacuations, including procedures that should be in place for disabled people.
5. Save lives
Are you sure everyone has been evacuated? Fire-related incidents can occur at any time, in any location, potentially leaving people stranded in life-threatening situations. Installing an EVC system in a disabled refuge area will help you protect the lives of disabled people within your building. An effective EVC system allows any fire marshal or building manager to know exactly where and when a disabled refuge has been occupied and assistance is needed, meaning no one is left behind in an evacuation.