What tones would you prefer for voice evac?

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fierlarmz_09
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Tue Jul 02, 2019 2:38 am

I prefer the "Loud Whoop" one for the voice evacuation message.
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Simplex 4051
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Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:32 pm

I would think that might be just as startling and unnerving as horns in my opinion.
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fierlarmz_09
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Sun Jul 07, 2019 10:37 pm

The "Fast Whoop" one.
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Robert A
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Mon Jul 08, 2019 4:35 pm

For tones, the Code-3 whoop is probably one of the best attention tones. Code-3 is the ANSI standard for fire, plus the whoop tone adds a bit more to the otherwise monotonous tone used on other alarms. Heck, even Autocall wrote that a whoop tone is the best possible alert tone!
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Anyway, NFPA72 section 24.4.2.1 specifies playing the "attention tone" twice before the message.
Then, my philosophy is that you want to instruct occupants what to do, but not necessarily give them super detailed information. For instance,
"There is a fire on the third floor of the building, please leave the building by the nearest stairway exit" is a bad idea, because what are people going to do? Go to the third floor to see if there really is a fire.
My idea of a good voice message would be:
"Attention please, attention please. An emergency has been reported in the building. In the interest of safety, you are to leave the building by the nearest exit or exit stairway. Do not use elevators."
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MayerFire
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Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:18 am

Motivated by the comment above, I looked up 24.4.2.1 in NFPA 72 and found that it also says that the tone shall be the emergency evacuation signal specified in 18.4.2, that is, the Temporal 3 pattern. This is present at least as far back as the 2010 edition. So, it would seem to me that voice evac systems are in fact required to use a Temporal 3 tone. What I don't understand then, is how come there are so many voice evac systems installed within the last decade that use non-Temporal 3 tones, such as Slow Whoop. Am I interpreting the code wrong, or are all those systems violating the code?
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Robert A
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Thu Jul 11, 2019 8:54 am

MayerFire wrote:
Wed Jul 10, 2019 2:18 am
Motivated by the comment above, I looked up 24.4.2.1 in NFPA 72 and found that it also says that the tone shall be the emergency evacuation signal specified in 18.4.2, that is, the Temporal 3 pattern. This is present at least as far back as the 2010 edition. So, it would seem to me that voice evac systems are in fact required to use a Temporal 3 tone. What I don't understand then, is how come there are so many voice evac systems installed within the last decade that use non-Temporal 3 tones, such as Slow Whoop. Am I interpreting the code wrong, or are all those systems violating the code?
Not necessarily. Some jurisdictions have not yet adopted those editions of code (eg. there's a town I know of that still uses the 2002 edition of NFPA 72) or have their own additional codes that supersede NFPA.

When a jurisdiction adopts an NFPA code, they can choose to adopt the whole thing in its entirety or they can adopt it with their own changes thrown in. The latter is usually what ends up happening. So, some jurisdictions write that they want xyz in their voice evac tone instead of temporal-3, or they want continuous for their horn-strobes. They are totally allowed to do this, because NFPA codes are really just standards.

When you get to some cities like Las Vegas or Chicago, those places have very stringent local codes that are far more specific than any NFPA code, and those codes take precedence over NFPA.
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