Voice Evacuation System testing

Voice Evacuation Systems (VES) play evacuation and/or alert messages in the event of emergencies.

They consist of three macro components, which must be certified according to EN-54 norms:

  • a master panel
  • loudspeakers
  • wire conductors

Generally speaking, responsibility for installing a noise evacuation system following an ad-hoc risk assessment lies with the owner of the facility or the employer. However, certain fire prevention and/or workplace safety regulations require that a noise evacuation system be installed in the following specific cases:

  • business premises with a surface area of more than 400m2 (Italian Ministerial Decree 27/07/2010)
  • offices attended by more than 100 people (Italian Ministerial Decree 22/02/2006)
  • public entertainment premises (Italian Ministerial Decree 19/8/96)
  • hotels with more than 25 beds (Italian Ministerial Decree 9/4/94)
  • schools attended by more than 500 people (Italian Ministerial Decree 26/8/92)
  • hospitals and healthcare facilities (Italian Ministerial Decree 18/9/02)
  • sports facilities attended by more than 100 spectators (Italian Ministerial Decree 18/3/96)
  • buildings of historical and/or artistic interest like museums, art galleries, libraries, etc. (Italian Ministerial Decree 20/5/92 No. 569 for museums and Italian Ministerial Decree DPR 30/6/95 No.418 for libraries)
  • underground stations (Italian Ministerial Decree 11/1/88)

It should also be noted that recent reports have shown that voice messages greatly reduce building evacuation times in the event of an emergency.

Emergency voice evacuation systems

VE systems not connected to a fire detection system

Product regulations: CEI EN 60849 (EN54 certification is not expressly required)

System regulations
CEI EN 60849
Please note: EN 50849 is currently being finalized

VE systems connected to a fire detection system

Product regulations: UNI 9795:2013
Loudspeakers: EN 54-24
Sound system electronics: EN 54-16
Emergency power supply: EN 54-4

System regulations
UNI ISO 7240-19 Please note: The EN TS 54-32 technical norm is currently being finalized

Italian Ministerial Decree of 27 July 2010 – Approval of technical fire prevention standards for the design, construction and operation of business premises with a surface area of more than 400m2.

8.3 Sound diffusion systems

Business premises must be equipped with a sound diffusion system able to transmit warning and alarm signals so that emergency and evacuation procedures can be promptly carried out if necessary.
Procedures for alarm signal diffusion must be clearly specified in the emergency plan