top of page
  • Kim Davis

Be Alert for Emergency Alarms

Nobody expects an emergency or disaster to strike, but it can at any time. Moreover, if it happens in the workplace, workers are presented with special safety challenges. As a result, it is important for you to have a thorough understanding of the safety measures in place to assist you during such circumstances. One of the most important safety measures to be aware of is the alarm system, as well as other warning devices.

Employee alarm systems can reduce the severity of workplace accidents and injuries. When properly installed and maintained, they can be invaluable to your on-the-job safety. However, alarms can only be effective if you know what they are and what action they require you to take.

Audible and visual alarms are to warn you and other workers about a hazardous condition or emergency requiring evacuation or other safety precaution. Please see the Emergency Action Plan for detailed information regarding alarms in your specific work area. As a reminder, the following types of alarms may be used:

Audible Alarms

Audible alarms include bells, horns, sirens, voice announcement systems and other devices that can be distinguished above and apart from normal sound levels.

  • Vibrating bells usually indicate a fire alarm.

  • Horns are loud distinctive sounds that immediately attract attention, usually used to call a critical situation to attention.

  • Sirens are loud piercing wails that are usually used to initiate a site-wide evacuation.

  • Announcement systems are live or recorded voice messages played over speakers, usually used for phased or guided evacuations.

Visual Alarms

Visual alarms use steady, flashing or strobe lights to alert workers to an emergency in areas where noise levels are high, especially where ear protection is worn and audible signals may not be heard or understood. Visual signals also provide an effective way to alert workers with hearing loss of an emergency.

  • Flashing or steady lights may be used in areas where ambient noise makes audible signals difficult to hear. These types of lights may come with different colored covers for increased attention and may have rotating or flashing lights.

  • Strobe lights may be used in areas where high ambient light levels make traditional rotating or flashing lights difficult to distinguish or where ambient noise makes audible signals difficult to hear.

Your safety is our top priority. If you see or hear an alarm, immediately follow the appropriate emergency procedures as outlined in our Emergency Action Plan.


bottom of page