Acoustic Signals

The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations also set standards for acoustic signals. Audible signals need to be set at significantly higher frequency than the surrounding noise level. A 10 dB (decibel) higher setting is recommended. Thereby indicating a greater degree of danger or a more pressing requirement action. It must be ensured that at that level it doesn’t become excessive and/or painful.

Acoustic signals should be readily recognisable and distinguishable from other signals and alarms, in their pulse duration and sounding pattern. Furthermore, acoustic signals should be used on their own; and not in combination with other sounders, alarms and sirens to avoid confusion. Devices which produce signals at variable frequencies are favoured over those that can only produce a constant frequency.

  • The intensity of a noise is measured in decibels; and is perceived as the volume of a sound, frequency of a sound wave is perceived as low or high pitch.
  • There are separate requirements for fire alarm bells, sounders and sirens.

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