A fire sparks backstage at a big Broadway production just before show time. Smoke slowly begins to seep from under the curtain, the fire alarm sounds, and the audience begins to move toward the exits. The smoke thickens, and patrons begin to panic.
In this scenario, and particularly in any emergency involving large assembly venues, quickly getting information and instructions to people is critical for saving lives.
NFPA 101â, Life Safety Codeâ, and NFPA 72â, National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code, work in tandem to address this topic. Among other things, NFPA 101 ensures that emergency voice/alarm communications systems meet minimum requirements, such as making sure messages can be heard over surrounding ambient noise. NFPA 72 provides a number of related guidelines, including making sure the communications system is protected against tampering, and requiring a professional inspection of the system to ensure that it meets performance requirements.