The different types of Audible Warning Signals

The different types of Audible Warning Signals

When choosing an audible warning signal for industrial purposes, there are some aspects you need to consider before choosing the correct signal.

Firstly, you need to consider what type of audible warning signal you require from a range of:

Electronic Sounders

In today’s world of technology, an electronic sounder is the most versatile product to use as this can be programmed to offer multiple tones and can be volume adjustable, making them suitable for almost every requirement. – – Sirens.

Sirens are a motor-powered device producing a unique sound due to its internal impeller.

Bells

Bells are suitable for daily signalling use that produces medium db output. Most commonly found in schools and workplaces to alert for lunch breaks.

Air Horns

Air horns are a good option for industrial & marine areas and hazardous areas. It is a non-electrical device with a high db output and low frequency, making it ideal for noisy environments.

Buzzers

This is an electro-mechanical type of warning signal in a robust housing. They produce medium-high db output with a low sound frequency

Hooters

Hooters are a motor-powered warning device with a horn. It has a high db output with low sound frequency, ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

You now need to take into consideration the sound level and frequency rating of your chosen alarm – this needs to be heard instantly and distinctly above any other noise in the area.

Next you need to consider the power consumption, electrical supply and IP rating of your chosen alarm and check with your engineer this will be suitable for your application.

Lastly you need to ensure you choose a quality product that will stand the test of time so to speak. By purchasing a quality product to begin with, it will save you time and money in the long run in maintenance, especially if the alarm is located in a hard to reach area.

Audible Warning Signals

Audible Warning Signals

We use audible warning signals every day in our daily lives albeit it in different forms – whether it be your alarm clock waking you in the morning, a bell to signal lunch break or a louder noise to signal an emergency situation.

When used for industrial purposes, there are some aspects you need to consider before choosing the correct signal.

Firstly you need to consider what type of audible warning signal you require from a range of:

Air horns

Air horns are a good option for industrial & marine areas and hazardous areas. It is a non-electrical device with a high db output and low frequency making it ideal for noisy environments.

Electronic sounders

In today’s world of technology, an electronic sounder is the most versatile product to use as this can be programmed to offer multiple tones and db selections for almost every requirement.

Bells

Bells are suitable for daily signalling use that produces medium db output. Most commonly found in schools and workplaces to alert for lunch breaks.

Hooters

Hooters are a motor-powered warning device with a horn. It has a high db output with low sound frequency, ideal for indoor and outdoor use.

Buzzers

This is an electro-mechanical type of warning signal in a robust housing. They produce medium-high db output with a low sound frequency.

Sirens

Sirens are a motor-powered device producing a unique sound due to its internal impeller.


You now need to take into consideration the sound level and frequency rating of your chosen alarm – this needs to be heard instantly and distinctly above any other noise in the area, for example above machinery noise.

Next you need to consider the power consumption, electrical supply and IP rating of your chosen alarm and check with your engineer this will be suitable for your application.

Lastly you need to ensure you choose a quality product that will stand the test of time so to speak. By purchasing a quality product to begin with, it will save you time and money in the long run in maintenance, especially if the alarm is located in a hard to reach area.

See more on our range of audible warning signals: https://beaconlamps.com/products/#132

Motor Driven Sirens

Motor Driven Sirens

Motor driven sirens are a typical style of an audible signal. They work by the motor driving a bladed impeller, pulling in air and pushing it back out through vents to produce a whirring sound – similar to an air raid siren. These units are commonly used in remote areas where a distinct noise it required to warn of an emergency.

Motor driven sirens usually have a duty cycle; for example 5 mins on and 10 mins off, so be sure to check this suits your application before using one.

As with all audible signals, these sirens have many pro’s and con’s:

Pro’s

 – Tend to be lower priced due to a simpler design.

– Lower frequency which travels better through and around object.

– Good to use in remote areas or in an area where electronic tones are used for fire alarms, and a siren is required to warn of something else.

Con’s

– Is only single tone and has no volume control.

–  High current draw and low efficiency.

– Lower IP rating due to the exposed blades which can get blocked with dust and debris.

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Combined Sounder Beacons

Combined Sounder Beacons

It can often be difficult to hear an audible alarm if there is a lot of background noise. Similarly, it can be difficult to see a visual alarm in bright sunlight or if it is out of your line of sight.

A combined sounder beacon addresses these problems by giving both a visual and an audible warning at the same point.

There are many advantages to using a combined sounder beacon:

– Saves installation on 2 separate units.

– Allows for simpler wiring.

– Allows the installer to easily comply with Equality Act 2010.

For example, when fitting a unit in a disabled toilet.

– Allows the unit to act as a 2-stage alarm.

For example, a visual alarm only for a warning status, then a visual and audible alarm for an emergency status.

There are many different types of combined sounder beacons available to suit various applications from Tower Sounder Beacons to units where everything is inside a single enclosure.

At D G Controls, we offer a wide range of combined sounder beacons including LED, Xenon, 64 tone and Tower Sounder Beacons.

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Beacon Installation

There are many considerations to think about when installing any type of beacon, the most important of course being that the work is carried out by qualified personnel. Further points to consider include application, orientation, mounting, maintenance and voltage drop which are noted in more detail below:

Application

You need to consider the following points before deciding which beacon is most suitable for your application:
*Brightness – is it bright enough/is it too bright?
*Colour – is there a specifying standard which requires a specific colour?
*IP Rating – where is this being used to obtain a suitable IP rated beacon?
*Power consumption – is there enough available from the power supply?
*Mode – do you require this to be flashing/static/rotating?
*Is it different to other beacons is the area?

The sighting of the beacon should also be considered, for maximum effect and minimum interference from obstructions.

Orientation and Mounting

Beacons are normally recommended to be installed vertically, especially when used continuously i.e. dome on top, when beacons are not mounted vertically, this can affect it’s IP rating. (Although this does change for sounder, the horn must NOT be pointing upwards).

To help with installing beacons in this way, a range of L shaped brackets can be used or even a pole if mounting directly and needing it raised into a higher position.

Maintenance

Ensure the beacon is installed in such a way that the equipment can be accessed and opened for maintenance. If possible, choose beacons which are of a low maintenance variety – e.g. LED beacons. In some instances, preventative maintenance should be carried out, for example replacing a xenon flash tube in a strobe beacon before it fails as this could then cause damage to the circuit.

Voltage Drop – Electrical Considerations

The installation should take into account the potential for voltage drop and the effect this can have on the operation of the beacon. All cables will drop voltage especially when carrying high currents. When connecting the beacons keep the cable run from the power supply to the beacon as short as possible to minimise the voltage drop. The voltage drop can be calculated using OHMS law in order that there is still sufficient voltage at the beacon to power it.

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