A Fire Alarm for Staff Not Customers
In some buildings which contain a large number of members of the public it may be more preferable in the event of a fire that only workers are alerted so that they can perform an orderly evacuation of the premises. Otherwise, a general alarm sound which alerts everybody to the danger and presence of a fire may cause a mass panic amongst the people. If this happens not only could the evacuation process take longer, and so increasing the chances of burning or asphyxiation from smoke inhalation, but a resulting stampede and mad dash for the exits could lead to other injuries.
If this type of fire alarm system is intended to be used within a premises, it is vital that not only are there enough staff available to perform an emergency evacuation of people who may be confused and unaware of exactly what is going on, but that the employees have also received the necessary training to execute the plan, which also means that this plan needs to have been carefully developed by management in the first place and takes into account any fire risk assessments that highlight areas which may need extra attention, such as checking the changing rooms and toilets or assisting disabled customers. Whilst fire health and safety courses like the NEBOSH Fire Certificate will teach employees a large amount of fire safety information, they will need training in the organisation's specific fire evacuation plans to understand things such as their specific role, i.e. who is a fire marshal and who checks specific areas of the building?
If there is any doubt about the ability or capability of staff to evacuate customers in this way, then it may be better just to have a general alarm that can be heard by all as at least customers will know there is an emergency and to get out rather than remaining in the building because nobody has informed them that there is a fire.