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Know the Code: NFPA 72, Sound Masking and Mass Notification

by Bobby Salerno on March 8, 2018

NFPA72: Fire Alarm & Signaling And UL 2572 / ULC-S576
Sound masking systems installed in mid- to large-sized projects where NFPA72 is enforced must be UL Certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL). The reasoning lencorebehind this requirement is sound masking systems impede on the annunciation of emergency communications systems. UL 2572 and ULC-S576 are the US and Canadian testing standards, respectively, for approved equipment performance in mass notification systems. In order to certify that a system can perform the Lencore- headend1117-1sound masking shutdown sequence requirement, the system control panel interfacing with the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) must pass UL 2572 and/or ULC-S576. Any sound masking control panel connected directly with a FACP must be monitored to insure shutdown in the event of an emergency. Following are specifics extracted from   the codes and the testing procedures highlighting the necessities to insure life safety:

NFPA72 2010 – 2016 versions states:
   Chapter 3: Emergency Communications Systems — Combination. 3.3.86 Various Lencore-i.Net Headend 2017-1emergency communication systems such as fire alarm, mass notification, fire fighter communications, area of refuge communications, elevator communications, or others that can be served through a single control system or through an interconnection of several control systems.

   3.3.95.1 (2010) / 3.3.103.1 (2016) Combination System. A fire alarm system in which components are used, in whole or in part, in common with a non-fire signaling system.

   A.3.3.95.1 (2010) / A.3.3.103.1 (2016) Examples of non-fire systems are security, card access control, closed circuit television, sound reinforcement, background music, paging, and sound  masking. Read more 

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