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Why Your Sound Masking is competing with Life Safety

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Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Sound Masking industry has seen double digit growth as modern workspaces become the norm and productivity a top concern for employers. Sound Masking works by introducing an ambient background sound into the environment to “cover” unwanted sound, rendering speech unintelligible. But what happens when an emergency communication is sent out? Will your employees be able to understand the message?

Few people can think clearly and logically in a crisis, so it is important to have a system in place that can effectively communicate to ALL employees and direct them to safety. Systems that compete for the audible signal such as sound masking systems MUST be shut off or muted to ensure the emergency communication is heard loud and clear. If a fire breaks out, employees need to know which staircases are safe to exit. If a shooter enters the building and pulls the fire alarm, employees need to be notified to head the opposite direction. Those with disabilities are especially at risk if the audible signal is challenged.  Clear Communication is CRITICAL and can save lives.

Lencore’s i.Net® & n.FORM® Solutions have been UL2572 listed by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL), which allows them to integrate with the existing fire alarm panel. When a UL 2572 certified system and a fire alarm control panel coalesce, the sound masking is completely shut off allowing a clear intelligible signal to be sent throughout a facility with no interference. A variety of communication platforms such as speakers, strobes, horns and more help achieve this signal.

The best way to prepare for an emergency is BEFORE it happens. It is important to have a system in place that meets code and doesn’t impede on the life safety system. Sound Masking is designed to enhance both speech privacy and comfort, but not at the expense of workplace safety.    

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