Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS)

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Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System (EWIS)

What is an Emergency Warning Intercommunication System (EWIS)?

The EWIS (Emergency Warning Intercommunication System) is an enhanced system for fire alarm alerting and evacuation control. Its most common use is in larger or more complex buildings.

  • Instead of the whole building receiving the (evacuation) alerting signal simultaneously, the premises are instead subdivided into multiple evacuation zones.
  • In response to signals from the fire alarm system, the EWIS controls a zone-by-zone staged / phased evacuation according to a pre-programmed scheme.

What does an Emergency Warning Intercommunication System (EWIS) sound like?

As with “all out” evacuation, the EWIS generates the standard “rising whoop” evacuation signal. It also plays a voice message with evacuation instructions.

  • With EWIS, these messages can be customized for various types of installations with multi-lingual capabilities which are usually available.
  • In addition, a preliminary “Alert” tone, with separate verbal message, can be played to zones that have not (yet) reached the evacuation stage.

Why use an EWIS?

The EWIS system design enables either the fire service or a designated building warden to take manual control of the evacuation. This includes directing Public Address (PA) messages to all or selected evacuation zones.

Conventional fire alarm notifications alert occupants of a building to the presence of an emergency. However, they do not provide detailed information to the occupants such as evacuation routes or instructions. Nor do they allow the occupants in the greatest danger to have unimpeded access to escape routes. This is the rationale behind audio evacuation systems.

EWIS usually permit multiple messages. For instance, you can program “non fire” messages for situations such as a hazardous material spill, gas leaks, security breaches, bomb threats, active shooter lockdown, weather events, civil defence, etc.

You can also use them to provide non-emergency building Public Address facilities.

What are the Australian Standards for EWIS?

Any Emergency Warning Intercommunication System is regulated according to Australian Standards.

AS 4428.4:2016 is the standard for:

  • fire detection, warning, control and intercom systems,
  • control and indicating equipment,
  • emergency intercom control and indicating equipment.

This Standard specifies the equipment requirements for intercommunications systems for use in assisting in safe evacuation of building occupants in the event of a fire alarm or other emergency.

Our company provides EWIS to suit what ever environment you need coverage for. We have over 40 years experience with fire protection and fire fighting equipment.

Please contact us if you wish to get more information about the applicability of the various types of EWIS. Our staff in our Sydney, Newcastle and Central Coast NSW offices help you get the right equipment for your needs.

See also our Building Occupant Warning System (BOWS) page.

Fire Panel Emergency Warning Intercommunication System EWIS FIP

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