NFPA 72 Fact and Fiction

By Matt Nees 10.30.2017

Recently one of our competitors, Lencore, has been circulating misleading information that sound masking systems need to meet UL 2572 certification, a certification they have recently received for their mass notification system (MNS).

In order to boost sales for both their sound masking and MNS, they are trying to suggest that sound masking and mass notification standards are somehow connected. They are not.

Here are the facts:

Lencore claim: Sound masking systems installed in mid- to large-sized projects where NFPA 72 is enforced must be UL Certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL).

Fact check: False. Sound masking systems are not required to be Listed (UL does not “certify”) to UL 2572 unless the entire emergency communication system (that may include sound masking and is therefore described as a combination control) is to be used for a mass notification system.

Lencore claim: The reasoning behind this requirement is sound masking systems impede on the annunciation of emergency communications systems.

Fact check: False. As we know the decibel level of sound masking is not loud enough to interfere with mass notification broadcasts. Even if it were, QtPro and DynasoundPro sound masking systems have a contact closure that shuts the sound masking down in the event of an emergency.

Lencore claim: UL 2572 and ULC-S576 are the US and Canadian testing standards, respectively, for approved equipment performance in mass notification systems.

Fact check: Deliberately misleading. Neither of these standards require a sound masking system to be UL Listed. UL 2572 is required for mass notification systems, not for sound masking systems.

Lencore claim: In order to certify that a system can perform the sound masking shutdown sequence requirement, the system control panel interfacing with the Fire Alarm Control Panel (FACP) must pass UL 2572 and/or ULC-S576.

Fact check: False. When interfaced with any communication system that uses sound masking, NFPA 72 allows for multiple methods for the fire alarm system to shut down the sound masking component (only if it would interfere with communications). Once again, UL 2572 is required for mass notification systems, not for sound masking systems.

Lencore is going to great lengths to claim any sound masking system is necessarily a combination system of the emergency notification system. Don’t believe it. It is categorically false and only applies to Lencore’s own MNS!

Learn more by downloading our NFPA 72 / UL 2572 Fact Sheet and call us at 800-219-8199 if you have any further questions.


– Rob Claus

VP of Sales

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