To Shay Away! Signet’s Powerful Voice Alarm System Installed At Halifax’s Shay Stadium

Copyright (c) 2011 C-Tec

Design to completion, SigNET’s skilled team is renowned in the industry for its capacity to manage entire voice alarm projects and provide complete site solutions, a service that, undoubtedly, gives the company the edge over its competitors.

Remarked Steve: “In today’s competitive marketplace, SigNET’s free project management service is very attractive. We were impressed that, as soon as we made the initial enquiry, one of SigNET’s design engineers immediately offered to accompany us to site to look at the plans and recommend a suitable system.”

Further factors in Tate’s choice of equipment was the fact that SigNET is the sister company of C-TEC, a long-standing supplier of fire alarm control panels, disabled refuge systems and power supplies to Tate. Said Steve: “As customers of C-TEC, we were already familiar with SigNET’s voice alarm systems and, after seeing them in action at numerous sites, were very impressed”.|

Shay Stadium is a sports stadium where FC Halifax Town (football) and Halifax (RLFC) both play their home games. There are four stands at the stadium – the North Stand, the South Stand, the Skircoat Stand and East Stand.|

In a project spanning 6 months and costing £4.5 million, the East Stand has been completely transformed to include a 3,500-seat venue for football and rugby and a fabulous new banqueting suite overlooking the pitch. An impressive array of changing rooms, control rooms, offices, shops and classrooms has also been created beneath the stand. The other three stands have been left intact for now.|

The refurbishment called for completely new life-safety systems in the East Stand. However, the challenge was to interface the brand new VA equipment in the new stand to the old voice alarm in the other three stands for the time being.

Due to the phase-by-phase nature of the installation, SigNET’s modular all-master LS system was specified. The LS is incredibly flexible and can easily be extended at a later date. Featuring a state-of-the-art LCD touch screen, LS is a reliable, sophisticated and highly effective combined VA, PA and background music system for use in large or complex sites.

Explains Tremayne Crossley, SigNET’s Northern VA Sales Manager, who was Steve’s main contact throughout the project: “LS is ideal for sites which are due to undergo expansion. The new seven zones in the East Stand are interfaced to the old voice alarm equipment currently operating in the three other stands. The Stadium’s entire VA system is now incorporated into one high quality PC-based touch screen front end. This is a temporary solution until the old stands are replaced, when the new LS system will be expanded to cover the entire stadium.”

The Shay’s system was designed in accordance with the Guide to Safety in Sports Grounds and is also fully compliant with all relevant voice alarm standards including BS 5839 part 8, the Code of Practice for the design, installation, commissioning and maintenance of voice alarm systems. It utilizes a high-speed digital network, which allows the amplifiers, fire alarm interfaces, audio inputs, and manual and automatic controllers to be distributed around the stand. The advantage of such a system is that audio suffers no interference or degradation over long distances, and the system produces messages of exceptional sound critical for life safety systems. In the event of an emergency, the system will evacuate the entire site. However, one of its most important end user features is its use for day-to-day paging and music distribution at the site. LS provides the essential communication required to link the different areas of the complex together.

There are three MPC 16 button desk-mounted emergency paging panels at the stadium, one in the control room, one in reception and one in the DJ/music room.

Audio power for the 8-zone system derives from dual 200-watt monitored amplifier modules. The amplifier rack, which is standard 19″ format, floor standing, was supplied by SigNET as a complete factory wired, assembled, tested, and engineering unit. Each zone is configured so that, should a fault occur to the voice alarm equipment associated with the zone, no other zone will be affected.

The system operates from 230 VAC but, in the event of mains failure, will automatically change over to 24 VDC operation with no loss of broadcast. On restoration of mains power, the system will automatically revert to 230 VAC operation, with no loss of broadcast.

Precise site-specific locations for the amplifiers, fire alarm interfaces and other VA ancillaries were carefully determined by SigNET’s specialist VA team so the engineers knew exactly where to distribute them around the stadium. The team not only marks up plans free of charge on behalf of the customer and calculates exactly what kind of equipment is required but they also train engineers how to install the system.

A crucial element in the successful operation of any system has to be the knowledge levels of the people that utilize it. Although LS, with its touch screen displays, is very user-friendly, training on the system is essential. Said Steve: “As soon as we finished the installation, Tremayne came on site and trained the stadium staff to operate the front end on-screen graphics via the PC based touch-screen. During training, the advantages of the system soon became apparent and everyone could see that LS offers users a simple fault alarm management diagnosis that doesn’t require any complicated software”.

For any installation engineer requiring additional training in audio systems, SigNET offers free, structured system design and installation training courses (including a CPD certified acoustic design module covering loudspeaker selection and application), either at SigNET’s audio training centre or at a customer’s own premises, subject to numbers.

Says Steve, free on-going training and technical support is a huge selling point. He says: “We do tend to select companies that manufacture in the UK as it is very important that we are confident that a company can provide not just the equipment but the technical training and customer support a project of this type demands too. SigNET’s after-sales service is second to none”

Tate Security Technology Ltd is one of the UK’s leading specialist electrical installation companies. The company specializes in designing, specifying and maintaining fire and security systems for prisons and sports stadiums.

Since its formation in 1994, SigNET has firmly established itself at the forefront of the life safety audio communication industry. Our voice alarm systems are currently protecting millions of people in sites worldwide, including Hong Kong’s Chep Lap Kok airport, Sweden’s Arlanda airport and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Distributor Go4: For further information on Voice Alarm projects for stadiums call our sales desk on +44 (0)1942 322744
Or visit our website at
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