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LineQ supplies Barix emergency paging solution to enhance public safety

LineQ supplies Barix emergency paging solution to enhance public safety
In expansive community facilities, the ability to quickly and clearly notify and relay instructions to visitors during emergency situations is critical to public safety and security. When Long Island, New York integration firm Rapid Motion Technology deployed a new emergency paging system at a 100,000 square foot cultural and community center in Brooklyn this fall, they selected a Barix Audio over IP solution, supplied by its US distributor LineQ, to provide the flexibility, advanced functionality and installation efficiency the project required.

The community center features a swimming pool, gymnasium and fitness center, and hosts between 500 and 600 visitors at any given time across five floors plus a rooftop playground area. With no existing paging system in place, the center’s management set out to enhance visitor safety with a system to play pre-recorded audio messages throughout the building or to specific, targeted zones in the event of evacuations, fires, lockdowns or other emergency situations.

Brought into the project by Gleis Security Consulting, Rapid Motion Technology looked to an IP-based solution to overcome significant physical challenges. “The building had fully closed, Sheetrock ceilings, which made wiring difficult even within individual floors,” said Jason Hagler, CEO of Rapid Motion Technologies. “With an Audio over IP solution, we were able to use the facility’s existing CAT6 network infrastructure, avoiding the extensive work that would have been needed to run feeds between floors.”

In-depth conversations with LineQ quickly overcame Hagler’s initial hesitation about using IP-based audio over the existing network. “I was concerned about bandwidth impact on the customer’s other applications, but the Barix solution shares the LAN very well with other network traffic. It requires very little bandwidth, and LineQ worked closely with me to design the optimal configuration.”

Seven Barix Annuncicom PS1 desktop IP paging stations are distributed across the building’s five floors, rooftop area and central security office. Barix Exstreamer 100 IP audio decoders, located in equipment racks on each level, receive and decode the audio, which Clarity amplifiers by Valcom then feed to ceiling-mounted speakers.115 speakers are dedicated to paging, while integration between the Barix units and the building’s pre-existing, Clarity-powered background music system enables pages to override music playing over additional speakers.

Each Barix paging station can perform an ‘all call’ to every speaker throughout the building or target just specific areas assigned to that station, such as its own floor. “The Barix system makes it easy to configure targeted paging zones,” said Hagler. “We simply gave each Exstreamer receiving unit a static IP address, and specified the IP addresses that each Annunicom’s audio is directed to. And if the customer wants us to modify the mapping, we just add or change IP addresses, with no wiring required.”

The Barix solution saved the integrator and the community center both time and money. “Using IP audio saved close to a week that we would have spent coring through floors and running wiring, and saved our customer thousands of dollars on labor and materials.,” said Hagler. “The speakers took most of the installation time, but we had the Barix solution itself up and running in under six hours. It’s very user-friendly, and the technical support from Barix and LineQ is exceptional.”

Hagler was equally impressed with the end result. “Voice intelligibility is critical in this type of application, and the Barix audio is incredibly crisp,” he said. “From a timeliness standpoint, the delay from paging until it hits the speakers is less than 3 or 4 milliseconds – you don’t even realize there’s any delay at all. And for the customer, the system is easy to adjust or expand if their needs change. The Barix solution lived up to all of our expectations, and I’d definitely use it again.”

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