PAVA Systems

PAVA Systems

Electronic sounders and bells are commonly used as fire alarm warnings, however research has shown that people are less likely to panic when presented with a clear and easily understood message

PAVA systems are installed within buildings where there is a need to provide clear concise spoken messages either for general day to day messages or in the event of an emergency to safely evacuate occupants. In an emergency situation such as a fire, it is essential that people are evacuated safely and in the shortest possible time.

Public Address and Voice Alarm (PAVA) systems have risen in popularity over the recent months, but what are they and how can your business benefit?

A public address system is just that – a series of speakers within a zone that can be used for addressing the public. Whilst it’s long been a recommendation of BS5839:8 that PAVA systems are installed in public buildings, many businesses, including large industrial or manufacturing sites, and multiple occupancy buildings and are now also taking advantage.


During routine hours, the PAVA system can perform a variety of tasks:-

  • Playing background music
  • Advertising announcements
  • Passenger announcements (in transportation hubs)
  • General paging for customers or employees
  • Health and safety alerts

Emergency Use

However, it’s when the system becomes a voice alarm that the benefits really emerge. How many times have you been in a building when the fire alarm has sounded? We’re all guilty of looking around to gauge everyone else’s reaction before deciding if it’s a false alarm or not. Those few precious seconds could be vital in ensuring a safe evacuation.

With a PAVA system integrated with the fire alarm system, an instant pre-recorded announcement can be broadcast explaining the risk and issuing immediate instruction. Recent research has shown that people remain calm when a clear and intelligible message is transmitted. As a result, this ensures a quick, safe and efficient evacuation.

The system can also phase announcements to specific zones – so you can evacuate those zones at immediate risk first. Remaining, less critical zones can then follow. In buildings where there are several floors, or complex layouts, this phased evacuation planning can prove vital in ensuring a safe as possible evacuation.

As well as fire risks, PAVA systems are also critical in other types of emergency. In buildings, venues or areas at risk of terrorist attack, a PAVA system can issue clear, calm instructions on how to respond. Simply sounding a fire alarm system without the backup of a voice alarm could cost precious time in this situation.

For more information on how  PA/VA system can benefit your business, contact our expert team on 0800 77 20206

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