Emergency Warnings For Fires


An EWIS (Emergency Warning and Intercommunication System) is normally used in conjunction with a Fire Indicator Panel forming the overall detection and warning system of a building. The primary role of the EWIS is to facilitate the orderly evacuation of a building, once a fire has been detected.

An EWIS will normally have a pre-set programme that will automatically begin the evacuation process when a fire is detected. For example, in a high rise building, the system will evacuate 2 levels above and 1 level below the detected fire zone every 45 seconds.

The system can also be manually controlled by a fire warden or fire brigade personal; it provides the ability to publicly address to one or all areas of a building and enables communication with occupants via WIP (Warden Intercommunication Points) phones.

The Building Code of Australia (BCA) requires an EWIS or OWS (Occupancy Warning System) complying with Australian Standards to be installed in buildings higher than 25 metres, buildings used as a theatre, public hall or similar purpose, having a floor area more than 1000 square metres, consisting of two storeys, or more than two storeys or where a building is used as the residential part of a school, accommodation for the aged, children or people with disabilities.

There are many other types of buildings and circumstances where the installation of an EWIS will assist during any emergency situation. The Building Code of Australia should be consulted for more comprehensive information on requirements.

Testing Frequency: Monthly, six monthly and annually