Alarm system talks to special-needs pupils

Published:  04 January, 2017

Honeywell, Bartec Fire & Security, Morley, voice alarm, fire alarm

To benefit from the capabilities of the latest PA/VA (public-address and voice-alarm) systems, the special-needs Drummond School in Inverness has replaced the system in its main school building, completed in 2008, with a Comprio D1 solution from Honeywell. It was recommended by Gerry McAloon of Bartec Fire & Security, a Morley IAS distributor, which has taken care of the fire-detection system for the school for the last 12 years.

Drummond School is a purpose-built educational facility for those with severe learning difficulties and complex needs. It has a capacity for over 90 pupils divided into 20 classes.

The Equality Act includes the concept of ‘reasonable adjustments’ which can be carried over into life safety. Following a full risk assessment, which considered the ability and most effective way for pupils to evacuate the building in an emergency, a PA/VA system was considered a suitable option when the main building was first constructed.

Ben Fothergill, Morley-IAS business manager for the north and Scotland, explains, ‘Studies have highlighted that a loud siren could cause confusion and panic amongst the pupils, particularly those who might have physical or mental disabilities.

‘PA/VA is therefore becoming increasingly popular in some schools as it can provide information on what to do in an emergency in a calm and reassuring way.

‘Furthermore, the latest state-of-the-art intelligent systems incorporate a number of essential features that can prioritise which levels to evacuate first as part of a phased evacuation strategy.’

To minimise disruption work, the new system was installed during the school holidays. The main task was to replace the existing rack. All the existing speakers and cabling were re-used.

For more information on this story, click here: January 2017, 129

comments powered by Disqus



Welcome to Modern Building Services Online, the web edition of Modern Building Services (MBS) journal and the UK's most popular Building Services engineering site. Modern Building Services covers the entire Building Services Engineering industry. This site contains archived content from the journal, plus web-specific content.

When you go to our digital edition, you can also access the archive of digital editions.


Modern Building services has a group
on Linkedin - join us!


  • Energy and sustainability: Performance and analysis manager

     An exciting opportunity will arise shortly for an exceptional person with extensive experience of managing sustainability within large complex organisations. Can you demonstrate extensive experience of energy management, proven ability to drive program......

more jobs »


"Is the Building Services industry lagging behind in the implementation of BIM?"