Community cinema in Dulwich protected by Fire-Cryer Voice Sounders from Vimpex

The former St Thomas More Community Centre in East Dulwich, London is now home to a new three-screen cinema with a café-bar and a courtyard garden.

Refurbished in 2015, the East Dulwich Picturehouse and Café offers diverse programmes catering for all sections of the local community and is equipped with the latest digital and satellite technology, enabling live broadcasts of the best performing arts productions from around the world.

As part of the refurbishment project a new fire alarm system was installed, together with Vimpex’s EN 54-3 approved Multi-Message Fire-Cryer Plus Voice Sounders to ensure timely building evacuation in the event of fire.

The fire alarm system was designed and commissioned by Southern Fire Alarms in partnership with consultant LTS International and installed by DW Electrical.

Artist's impression of the East Dulwich Picturehouse Cinema

Artist’s impression of the East Dulwich Picturehouse Cinema

“There’s a high level of noise pollution in today’s modern building environment,” explained David Fell, sales director of Southern Fire Alarms. “Fire alarm bells, sirens, sounders, security alarms, public address systems and mobile ringtones are just some of the cacophony of noises that bombard building users on a daily basis. The confusion of tones means people can become complacent and ignore safety-critical alarms.”

Fell continued: “From experience, we know that the addition of unambiguous voice messages that are heard and understood vastly reduces this confusion. Fire-Cryer Voice Sounders deliver this as a very cost-effective solution when compared with standalone voice evacuation systems.”

A total of 35 Mini Fire-Cryer slimline base sounders have been installed under ceiling-mounted fire detectors in all parts of the building. The Mini Fire-Cryer provides an attractive and unobtrusive solution and is installed on a conventional two-wire sounder circuit.

A two-stage alarm strategy is deployed. Stage One alerts staff using flashing beacons and then, after a three-minute investigation delay, Stage Two initiates a full building evacuation aided by the Fire-Cryers with the fully-synchronised message: “Ladies and Gentlemen… In the interest of safety this building must be evacuated. Please leave immediately by the nearest exit. Staff will assist you.”

Other models in the Fire-Cryer range include wall mounted units with optional integral synchronised LED strobe as well as output versions for use in wide open spaces and outdoors.

Each voice sounder may be programmed with up to seven messages from a library of thousands, many of which are multi-lingual, ensuring that any site requirement can be fulfilled.

The Fire-Cryer’s multi-message capability also ensures that system test and ‘all clear’ messages can be easily transmitted, in turn avoiding confusion with the fire/evacuation alarm.

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