Companies that provide communication infrastructures for Dutch healthcare facilities must meet strict certification for their evacuation and fire alarm systems. While the sound of certain alarm tones is sufficient under normal conditions, to signal the need for evacuation, silent alarms are prescribed in nursing and geriatric care homes, to avoid unnecessary panic.
In many cases, installers opt for a paging system that is separate from the telecommunications infrastructure. Although this solution simplifies the roll-out of the alarm system, it also creates additional costs for the customer and forces nursing staff to carry several devices at once.
Therefore, Voice Solutions sought a solution that would enable the use of cordless IP DECT handsets, both as aphone for nursing staff and as a terminal device for an evacuation system in compliance with the NEN2575-4 standard. DECT telephones were chosen since messaging via this technology is much more secure and stable than with smartphones.
Requirements of the NEN2575-4 standard and for DECT terminals
Among the criteria required by the NEN2575-4 standard, the following points are important:
- Fire messages must be received within 20 seconds.
- A fire alarm should take top priority over all activities. When using a handheld device that is also used for making telephone calls, the alarm should be received during an active call, while not interrupting the call.
- Every system failure must be reported within 100 seconds, and overall system availability must be at least 99.7% a year.
- The (emergency) power supply must meet the requirements of the EN54 standard (=certified power supply) and use a battery operated backup lasting at least 12 hours, of which 30 minutes are in full alarm.
- The maximum volume of the ringtone for the alarm should be different from that of other functions of the terminal.
- All components within the network that are used for the evacuation system, must be monitored for malfunctions.
- Handheld devices used in the evacuation system must be recharged using a multi-charger that is protected from malfunction.
In addition, cordless IP DECT telephones must be able to receive messages from the nurse call system in the course of the infrastructural integration envisaged by Voice Solutions. The display must show a complete display (approx. 60 characters), buttons to accept and reject a call, as well as a call back option and have a (preferably red) panic button.
During the evaluation period, Voice Solutions established that Snom’s IP DECT terminals and base stations support these functions, which can also be aligned to the requirements via API. The only exception to this was the multicharger, which Voice Solutions designed and produced itself for this purpose.
With internal testing, it soon became clear that the combination of the alarm system designed by Voice Solutions and Snom phones far exceeded requirements. This is how the provider entered the certification process. A company appointed for this purpose by the Dutch government put the overall solution to the test. The system set up by Voice Solutions with Snom phones and ATT-AMX servers passed all tests successfully. This makes Voice Solutions the first provider to be able to certify the use of Snom’s IP DECT phones in an evacuation system in accordance with Dutch law.
First use case
The certified solution was successfully installed at Valuas Zorggroep. The company is very satisfied with the installation and plans to use the entire system in a further four new locations over the next year.
Stephan Fuchs, Channel Director Benelux & Nordics, said: “It’s fantastic to see the level of integration Voice Solutions and ATT A.G. have reached with our M900 multicell system and our DECT IP phones. Saving up to 12 seconds of the legally prescribed maximum time to receive an alarm message is quite something and could be literally life-saving one day!”
About Voice Solutions b.v.
Voice Solutions has been active in the Dutch market as an ICT partner and system integrator in the (IP-) telephony, SIP and hosted telephony (VoIP) sector for over 22 years and provides complete solutions for companies. In addition, Voice Solutions specialises in critical communication according to the NEN2575 standard (silent alarm, silent evacuation) and alarms in the health sector. Whether it is about hardware and software, installation, configuration or the administration of the infrastructure, Voice Solutions is the reliable contact for all ICT and telecommunications matters.
More information about Voice Solutions b.v. is available at https://www.voicesolutions.nl/.