It is necessary to be prepared for any event which might necessitate an evacuation. Evacuation procedures are an integral part of an Emergency Action Plan, which organizes employees and employers in the event of a given situation. A single plan may determine the evacuation procedures in the event of a wide array of hazards. Public Address (PA) systems can form part of the larger emergency notification system. PA systems should be used in conjunction with an integrated fire-voice system to effectively fulfill the associated requirements of NFPA 72.
The codes on how to alert occupants in the event of a fire are stated in NFPA 101 and the International Fire Code. These practices are usually adopted by the AHJ in North America. Standards for alerting workers in the event of other emergencies varies in the field and from site to site. Standards for Emergency Communication Systems (ECS) may change based on the building, it’s location, it’s structure, and it’s intended use.
Depending on the type of PA system in place, it can be interfaced with ECS to be used with the fire alarm system. PA systems alone aren’t generally enough to comply with NFPA codes. Depending on the features of the PA systems (such as multiple voice channels, options for various call stations, fault redundancies, battery power, a place for supervision of the entire system, and different recorded message etc.) it may fulfill the NFPA 72 requirements. That said, overall PA systems can be one of many components to an effective Emergency Action Plan.