Voice Sounders Keep Workers Safe on Sydney Harbour Bridge

High-output multi-message Maxi Fire-Cryer® Voice Sounders from Vimpex Limited are being used to enhance safety for maintenance staff working on Sydney Harbour Bridge. Workers undertaking regular maintenance tasks such as painting can now be safely evacuated in the event of an emergency through pre-programmed messages that are broadcast from the Maxi Fire-Cryers®.

p069_0_01_01Sydney Harbour’s famous bridge is an important transport link carrying rail, vehicles and pedestrians, as well as being a tourist attraction. Its steel structure, which is locally nicknamed “The Coathanger” because of its arch-based design, needs constant maintenance. The challenge was to keep the maintenance staff informed of any emergency situation whilst working in a noisy, outdoor environment. Portcullis Australia Pty Ltd in partnership with Vimpex developed a wireless voice evacuation solution to meet this requirement.

Ten Maxi Fire-Cryers®, each with four messages, have been installed in the maintenance cribs and active re-painting areas, which are relocated from time to time. The Maxi Fire-Cryer® outputs 116dBA and features a fully weatherproof enclosure making it ideal for external use in large open areas. A specially designed wireless control panel connects to Vimpex’s Voice Message Controller, which in turn controls the voice message sequencing to each of the Maxi Fire-Cryers®.

Each voice message can be individually activated from 4 switches remotely located in the Harbour Bridge control room. Two of the messages are for emergencies and are preceded with the appropriate Australian standard evacuation or alert tone. The other two messages are used to notify the start and finish of a fire alarm test.

The Maxi Fire-Cryer® is just one of a family of voice sounders that are suitable for the broadest range of fire and evacuation applications. The units require no special wiring and can be retrofitted to existing installations. They can be fully synchronised and have a low current consumption allowing simple replacement of existing sounders and bells. The Fire-Cryer’s® multi-message capability also ensures that ‘system test’ and ‘all clear’ messages can easily be transmitted avoiding confusion with the fire/evacuation alarm.