Audio Big at WSCE
Much of the buzz at the expo portion of NFPA's World Safety Conference and Expo in Las Vegas this past month had to do with sound itself, notably directional sound and mass notification.
"The floor of a casino would be perfect," said Warde Comeaux of Global Fire Protection Consulting, Inc., Concord, Calif., speaking of the directional sounding device exhibited by System Sensor. "It really is a good piece of equipment that I'd like to see in a lot of buildings."
In a nutshell, the product, branded as "ExitPoint" and selling under the Notifier label, sends out a different type audible signal vs. traditional horn alarms that helps direct people in smoke-filled areas to exit points.
Even bigger news was talk that the technology may be included in the 2006 revision to NFPA 72. According to System Sensor's Christi Poss, it's already been though a preliminary cycle and has been accepted by NFPA in principle.
Elsewhere, mass notification—the ability to quickly and clearly direct people over audio systems in emergencies—continues to gain ground. Evolving out of military facilities, the technology is being adopted in other campus settings.