Voice Alarm Systems


A voice alarm (VA) or evacuation (EVAC) system is a means of alerting people to an emergency in a clear and unambiguous manner with the minimum of delay.

Research has shown that voice alarm messages result in quicker reaction times than when sirens or bells are used, and live announcements were found to result in faster recognition times than recorded announcements. This has resulted in Voice Alarm or VA becoming frequently commonplace as the primary means of evacuation in public buildings.

Vocie Alarm Systems

VA Systems

Voice alarm systems take traditional public address to a new level of performance and reliability with many additional features to ensure the system is ready to operate in the event of an emergency and function as a life safety system.

A correctly designed and installed voice alarm system provides the peace of mind that the facility exists for emergency warnings to be conveyed clearly, calmly and concisely throughout a building. To achieve this, expert knowledge of audio systems and acoustics plus BS standards familiarisation is required in order deliver a compliant system.

BS5839 part 8 covers the 'code of practice for emergency voice communication systems'. The recommendations of BS 5839-8 basically apply to any voice alarm system that is automatically triggered by, and therefore effectively forms an integral part of, a fire alarm system.

Interpreting the project specification and applying the standards is critical and often leads to ambiguity by those who deal infrequently with critical audio systems. The type of building and evacuation strategy/cause and effects will decide the number and location of evacuation zones. Acoustics must be considered, in particular ambient noise level, reverberation time and loudspeaker to listener distance.


STIPA Testing

STIPA Testing

Our level of experience and knowledge takes voice alarm beyond the usual “It makes a noise so it must be okay” approach which is commonly seen.

Our audio test gear and commissioning procedures ensure systems get optimised and tested in line with current best practice and standards.

We carry out intelligibility testing using the STIPA method to verify the performance of our system installations and those where we have not been involved and the performance of the system is in doubt.


We also offer ongoing service and maintenance of most brands of voice alarm systems. Our engineers are experienced and manufacturer trained in the following brands of voice alarm equipment:

Bosch, ASL, Ateis, Baldwin Boxall, Bosch, Toa
Some of our recent VA projects
Liverpool Library
Liverpool Library

Building work began on the library in November 2010 and was completed in January 2013. It took four months to restock...
Manchester Picadilly
Manchester Picadilly

We developed PA systems for the site which allow staff to communicate quickly and effectively around the building...
Everyman Theatre

The new £28m Everyman theatre and bistro opened their doors in late 2013. The building houses a 400-seater theatre, an expanded backstage, rehearsal space...
PAS Sound Engineering offer the required specialist knowledge to ensure that the system is designed correctly, performs upon installation and is maintained over its life cycle. We have manufacturer training in most brands of VA equipment and have a wealth of experience in acoustics and speaker performance in difficult spaces.