How Loud Should My Siren Be?
Your siren should be loud enough to hear throughout the building. If your current siren is not loud enough, then you have two options. You can add a second siren, or you can install a louder one. A siren must be at least 85 decibels (dB) to meet Nationally Recognized Industry Standards.
Even though industry standards require a siren to be at least 85 dB, this still might not be loud enough for certain applications. For example, if the siren is being used in a large commercial location, then you will certainly want a louder siren. For reference, 85 dB is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Some users will find this to be perfectly suitable for their needs. Other users might want something louder.
At the other end of the spectrum, Alarm Grid sells many external sirens capable of producing sounds in excess of 120 dB. This is about as loud as a jet plane at takeoff. A siren this loud will make it physically uncomfortable to remain in the building. Many applications require extremely loud sirens that can produce high intensity sounds at these levels. There are also some homeowners who simply want the loudest siren possible for the sake of scaring off intruders. And there is no reason they can't.
Realistically, most users will fall somewhere in the middle. They will want a siren that they know they will hear in all situations, but not something that will make it physically uncomfortable to stay in the building. A happy medium for many people is the Qolsys IQ Siren that operates at 105 dB. This about as loud as a jackhammer. This is a Z-Wave siren that will work with nearly any panel that supports Z-Wave devices. Please note that you may need to create special smart scenes for this siren depending on the panel. One example is with the Lyric Controller.
Remember, you don't necessarily need to add a louder siren. You might also just consider adding a second siren. You might have your wireless panel with its built-in sounder in one location and then a second siren at the other side of the building. For example, the Honeywell SiXSIREN is no louder than internal sounder for the Lyric Controller. But it can still be useful to add a SiXSIREN because using it together with the Lyric Panel will cover a larger area than just the system alone.
Keep in mind that sirens represent an important component of your alarm system. These devices should be tested regularly just like the rest of your system. You should consider how loud your siren is during the test. If you think you might sleep through the siren, then you might need to add louder one. The same is true if there is a part of the building where you cannot reliably hear the siren. Consider your own needs and determine if you current siren is loud enough or if you need to add another one.
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