Keeping Lifts in the Loop Published in Building For Leisure June 2008

Oct 11, 2010

A critical issue for those with a hearing impairment using lifts is, in an emergency, being able to hear information announcements and to effectively use the lift’s intercom system.

The way to achieve this is via a good induction loop, which will filter out all unwanted sounds, feeding just the wanted signal via a magnetic field directly to the user’s hearing aid which is, in turn, optimised for the individual’s particular hearing loss.

An induction loop system within a lift is usually connected to the existing audio system and intercom, a process which is relatively straightforward. However, much greater care is required when installing the loop which generates the magnetic field.

Without careful consideration of the loop’s positioning, it is difficult and often impossible to gain adequate performance. For example, placing a localised loop near the intercom is not appropriate if the hearing aid wearer could be anywhere within a potentially crowded lift. Yet placing a loop on the top of a steel roof to cover the whole car can lead to complete loss of signal.

The hard of hearing is the UK’s biggest disability group and, with many leisure buildings relying primarily on lifts to transport people between floors, plus the DDA to consider, providing reliable induction loop systems in lifts is something that cannot be ignored.

A mistake that many companies make is installing loops because they feel they have to, often meaning the cheapest solution is sought. Consequentially an inferior installation can be provided which is, in turn, of little benefit to the hearing impaired. Thus the money spent is wasted - and the hearing impaired are unlikely to return, making a further negative impact on revenues.

If induction loops are installed as an integral part of good customer service and comply with IEC60118-4 - the international performance standard for induction loops - the business can be assured that it will have a positive impact on their hearing impaired patrons, meaning that they will return - with the resulting positive influence on overall revenue.

Ampetronic has unrivalled expertise in designing systems and producing high reliability products designed specifically to tackle the challenges of placing induction loops in lifts.

As well as compensating for metal loss, proving sufficient power and frequency compensation, Ampetronic lift drivers meet additional demanding requirements created by this environment. For example, many applications will require an integral battery backup option if the system is part of the emergency communication system, and all Ampetronic products benefit from greatly increased ruggedness compared to most conventional loop products.

Conforming to all relevant international standards, an Ampetronic induction loop ensures that both its providers and users derive maximum benefit.

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