Public Address Systems


Public Address (PA) Systems

A Public Address (PA) System is a centralized system made up of loudspeakers, amplifiers, microphones, and audio switching matrixes used to broadcast alarms and provide voice paging to multiple or single areas of a facility using loudspeakers. The facility can be separated into zones or areas to enable the ability to specify which areas will receive voice or alarm notifications.

Having a PA System can be imperative in a large facility to provide the inhabitants of the building with notifications, important announcements, alarms, etc. Messages can be broadcast to either the entire facility at once, or to certain zones only.

The loudspeakers must provide clearly heard and understood audio signals. Certain industrial environments may require that the speakers be flame retardant or weather-proofed to ensure operational readiness in all conditions such as hazardous or noisy atmospheres. They can also be omnidirectional to transmit or receive messages from either end of the speaker. The system can be operated from a single control desk or multiple control desks.

Because amplifiers are built in over load protection circuitry, short-circuit protection, open circuit protection and thermal protection.

They provide many advantages such as:

  • reduced maintenance,
  • economical cabling,
  • flexibility for longer distance connectivity,
  • ability for expansion,
  • monitoring the system and,
  • no AC power source.

Messages can be pre-recorded in the event of an emergency to give specific directions to the entire facility quickly. This can be beneficial over the use of bells or traditional alarm sounds to provide specific instruction to people in any event. Spoken messages clearly identify the specific nature of the problem and provide clear instructions, while bells and alarms may cause people to panic. Messages can be used in the event of an emergency or to just to give general announcements.

When implementing a PA system, several items need to be considered, such as:

• Placement of equipment (i.e., loudspeakers, amplifiers, etc.): Messages sent through the system must be intelligible and loud enough to be heard well in all areas of a facility by all employees or inhabitants of the building. Standards set forth for intelligibility must be well adhered to during installation, and maintenance testing should be performed to ensure standards are continually met. Loudspeakers must be positioned properly to ensure all standards are met.
• Selection of equipment (i.e., which system elements will be needed for the system): The needs of the facility should be considered when choosing a system. The size of the facility determines the number of speakers and amplifiers needed.
• Safety features: Some facilities may contain thermal or chemical elements, and the equipment should be properly protected from them when installed.
• Number of inputs and outputs: Your facility should include the recommended number of inputs and outputs according to standards. Input sources include microphones, recorded messages, or music, for example. These sources send audio to output sources, such as speakers.
JKS experts work with you to determine your facility’s specific PA system needs and engineers a system to accommodate them. We work with you from the planning phase through the implementation phase and perform regular maintenance to ensure your system operates at the highest level.

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