Mass Notification System Audio Messaging

  August 5, 2009

Intelligibility and audibility are crucial to the success of a mass notification system. But getting the message out clearly might not mean making the speakers louder.

Where reverberation is not a problem, fewer speakers can cover a larger space. However, if it is a problem, instead of louder speakers you might need more speakers set to provide a distributed sound level with minimal sound intensity variations.

Where ambient noise exceeds 85 decibels, about as loud as busy city traffic, intelligibility might not be possible and an alternate means of notification will be needed.

Just as important as getting the message heard is the content of the message. In addition to information on the hazard, the message should include the name of the speaker, a description of the hazard’s location, and information on when listeners need to act.

People tend to hesitate or wait. Identifying the speaker is important because occupants tend to respond to a speaker they know and trust, such as the facility manager, versus an anonymous voice. This helps to spur them to act appropriately.


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