HMS Belfast Flies the Flag for Notifier

3rd October 2013


Latest VA/PA solution provides excellent message quality for top London tourist venue.

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HMS Belfast, one of London's top tourist attractions, has installed an advanced integrated voice alarm and public address (VA/PA) system from Notifier by Honeywell, in order to provide comprehensive messaging and safety information.

HMS Belfast3The VA/PA solution was designed and installed by Notifier ESD Powerpoint Fire Systems. "In replacing the previous public address system, the Notifier solution was selected as it was best-placed to provide the level of flexibility demanded by this unique environment," says Jan Poliszewski, director, Powerpoint. "At the same time it offered great value for money, providing full VA/PA capability for a similar price to many public address-only systems."

The Notifier VA/PA system includes a total of 12 circuits, with two circuits for each of the public, function and staff zones, both fore and aft. The ship's design meant that it was impossible to route cabling directly between speakers, with the result that 12,000 kilometers of cabling was required to link all the speakers throughout the ship.

The choice and positioning of the speakers was also critical in a complex multi-level environment with many narrow corridors and metal surfaces. "However, we fully rose to the challenge," says Poliszewski. "The installation was completed on time and we have been extremely impressed with the consistently high quality digital sound which the Notifier system delivers, in what is a difficult acoustic space.

HMSBelfast1The Notifier solution includes an override facility, which provides staff in each zone with appropriate emergency messages to enable them to evacuate visitors quickly and safely in the event of a fire-related incident. An automated messaging system also provides customised messages advising visitors when the ship is due to close for the day, replacing the previous manual system, as well as a radio mic enabling live messages to be broadcast when required. 

"The VA/PA installation on HMS Belfast reinforces the importance of voice within an integrated information system, as part of an effective fire safety solution for any public venue," says Derek Portsmouth, national sales leader, UK & Ireland, Notifier.

Formerly a Royal Navy light cruiser, HMS Belfast became a museum ship in 1971 and is now permanently moored between London Bridge and Tower Bridge. The engine room, operations room and compass platform form part of the nine decks of the ship open to the public and each year HMS Belfast attracts around 250,000 visitors, who are able to see at first hand what life was like for the 950-strong crew during its years of active service.