Industrial Fire Journal - Fire & Rescue - Hemming Group Ltd

Sara Mudalige: How to chooswe the correct signalling device

Published:  01 October, 2008

What are the principal difficulties facing buyers in the industrial arena?

The term “industrial environment” covers a broad spectrum of working disciplines from factories to off-shore oil rigs. The sheer vastness of this field means that often no two industrial areas will be of the same nature. For example, some of these areas may be subject to high levels of humidity, dust and noise compare to commercial buildings. Therefore when selecting suitable signalling devices, factors such as ingress protection, robustness and sound output must be taken into consideration.

Apart from existing fire alarm regulations, there are no sets of rules on signalling devices for protection from other hazardous situations that may arise as a result of process failure or system faults. In these situations it becomes increasingly complicated and confusing to select an appropriate signalling device.

What is the most common mistake made by buyers?

Sounders for alert and alarm purposes are too often chosen from the wide range of models available on the market without sufficient attention being given to the particular application for which they will be used.

What factors should determine the right

The selection of the sounder for a particular application is usually determined by several factors. These include:

• the noise level required
• the quality and type of sound in the environment
• ambient noise in the environment
• the duration of the signal required
• the type of electricity supply available
• the level of Ingress Protection (IP rating) required
Both, audible and visual signals are used for alerting people of potential hazards, change of status or anything that may require their attention.

What is available on the market?

Ranges vary from traditional robust motor driven sirens to the more sophisticated electronic sirens. The latest technology that is taking over the industrial signalling market is voice enhanced sounders. Voice sounders are effective at reducing response time to an alarm signal by providing essential information about the type of alarm and the action required by those in the area. Having an understandable message in addition to a warning signal prevents confusion and provides the impetus for people to take action rather than waiting for confirmation. For example, “Warning, you are approaching a machine safety hazard, move away or the machine will shutdown” indicates a machine fault and gives out clear instructions regarding the situation.

What are the differences in applications for motor driven and electronic sirens?

Motor driven sirens are generally specified in areas subject to harsh environmental conditions due to their robust construction. They produce a distinct unique tone preferred for certain industrial warning applications.

Electronic sirens have multiple tones, beacon options and voice messaging capability for a more informative signalling solution. For example they can from a single unit inform personnel about the various stages of a developing hazardous situation.

What solutions do Klaxon offer?

Klaxon’s motor-driven siren range is rugged in construction with a high sound output to overcome most levels of background noise found in mining and quarrying applications.
With advancements in siren technology, electronic sirens were introduced to the market in the form of the Nexus industrial sounder. With a choice of 110dB and 120dB sound outputs, IP66 protection, three alarm stages, and 64 tones, the Nexus sirens can be used in a variety of general signalling applications. Combined sounder beacon units are available for compliancy with the UK Disability and Discrimination Act.

For visual signalling applications, Klaxon’s industrial beacons provide effective warning by diffusing a greater spread of light. Beacons are fitted with either LED or Xenon beacons and are available with varying light outputs of 5J, 10J and 24J. Nexus voice sounders have the same features and capabilities as the existing range of electronic sounders with the added benefit of voice messaging. Each individual message is preceded by a dedicated selectable tone and/or flashing beacon for clear and effective warning. The sounders are available with four pre-programmed messages and have a USB interface that allows special messages in WAV format to be downloaded onto the sounder from any PC, providing users with the flexibility of adding/removing messages in-house.
Messages can be selected from an extensive library covering almost any conceivable application. Bespoke messages are also available on request.

Our industrial products have been used in conveyors, cranes, moving machinery, as process control alarms, marine and general signalling applications. Whatever the requirement maybe, Klaxon Signals can provide a signalling solution to suite even the most stringent and diverse applications.

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