n.FORM™ Mass Notification
Lencore's n.FORM Mass Notification System is a robust, simple-design solution that meets the design requirements of NFPA 72. n.FORM has achieved the Underwriter Laboratories (UL) standard, UL 2572, for a mass notification system from a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). UL 2572 allows the n.FORM system to interface with a Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) in order to reinforce the fire alarm annunciation as well as take control in a non-fire emergency.
Mass Notification Criteria
In designing a Mass Notification and Emergency Communications (MNEC) system, the four critical elements are Reach, Clarity, Redundancy and Reporting:
Reach is about coverage to 100% of the intended audience to inform and instruct. Reach can be visual and/or audible throughout the entire facility.
Clarity is the degree to which the intended audience understands the message they are receiving.
Redundancy is the system’s built in fail safes. A MNEC system should be able to not only notify you of a compromise in the system but it should ensure 24/7 operability with a redundant signal.
Reporting capabilities for the system provide real time notifications should the system be tampered with, fall off-line or if the integrity of a system component is compromised. Alert messages are automatically triggered so that issues can receive immediate attention
Within the National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) code 72, specific requirements for communication must be met. Specifically a Mass Notification system must provide for Acoustically Distinguishable Spaces (ADS) as well as meet the Sound Transmission Index for Public Address (STIPA) Together, these performance standards help to achieve “intelligibility” – another requirement within NFPA72.
To provide coverage to 100% of the intended audience, the overall space is reviewed and evaluated to consider each Acoustically Distinguishable Space (ADS) in order to define the appropriate zoning requirements for the client’s facilities. Identifying and understanding the local and global communication needs of the organization plays a vital role in the design strategy.
System Design Considerations
A variety of visual and audio delivery methods can be customized into the design and integrated to ensure that messages are seen and heard clearly. Audio coverage utilizes a variety of audible devices such as upward-firing, direct-fired and specialty speakers and horns for both overhead and loud speaker paging. Speaker design always considers and accounts for the necessary volume fluctuations the system must meet.
A well designed MNEC solution will ensure that all intended audiences are well informed and directed to safety through any and all means possible. Following are key criteria in the design of any MNEC system:
- Pre-Recorded Announcements
- Preventative Maintenance
- Surge & Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems