Public Address and Voice Alarm (PA/VA) systems are simply a series of speakers used for addressing the public.


They are used in areas where there is a need to communicate clear spoken messages to the occupants within a building. These can be general everyday messages, but the system really comes into its own when used as part of an evacuation strategy.


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In the event of an emergency, the PA/VA system relates clear, easily understood messages to assist with the safe evacuation of people in the shortest possible time.


Electronic sounders are commonly used to warn of potential fires, but as we all know, we’ve been in those situations where the sounders go off and everyone looks to each other to work out whether to leave or not.


Using a PA/VA system to relate clear, concise messages and really can save vital seconds in an emergency. By communicating useful information about the nature of the hazard and the safest or nearest escape route, the evacuation process can be so much more concise.

Where are PA/VA Systems required?

It is recommended in BS5839:8 that PA/VA systems are installed in all public buildings and buildings over four storeys high. However, because of their use in buildings where occupants may be unaware of the nearest exit point, they are often installed in locations such as:

  • manufacturing sites

  • industrial buildings

  • warehouses

  • shopping centres

  • transport hubs

  • hospitals

  • schools

  • offices

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Additional PA/VA System Uses

As well as relaying important messages during emergency situations, PA/VA systems can also be used for many tasks including:

  • Playing background music

  • Advertising messages

  • Staff announcements

  • Passenger information in locations such as airports, bus and train stations

  • Health and safety announcements

PA/VA Systems in Emergencies

PA/VA systems are integrated with your fire alarm system to provide additional reassurance and direction in emergency situations.

On activation of your fire alarm system, the PA/VA system steps it. It broadcasts a set of pre-recorded voice messages explaining what the immediate risk is, what action to take and where to go.


The clever part is that the system can also deliver messages to specific zones in a phased manner. This enables the areas most at risk to be evacuated first, with other zones immediately after. This can prove vital in successfully evacuating buildings where there are several floors or confusing layouts.


PA/VA systems are also useful for issuing instructions in other types of emergency such as a terrorist attack. Communicating calm, concise instructions on the action to take really can save lives in these frightening situations.


Why Triple Star Fire & Security?

Fire safety and compliance is in our blood.

We want to make sure you, your business and your people are safe.

We don’t mean to brag, but we have a lot of experience in the fire sector. A lot!


So, you can be sure that our highly experienced team will install your PA/VA system professionally and then configure it correctly to provide the best level of protection for your site. Following installation, we provide a comprehensive service and maintenance plan. This is to ensure your system remains fully functional and performs without fault when it’s most required.

What next?

For more information on PA/VA systems for your business, or to book a site survey, please call us on 0203 189 1960. Or you can complete your details above and we’ll be in touch.

Our friendly team will be able to discuss your requirements further and guide you through the next steps.

Contact us for your free, no obligation quotation for your fire and security systems