And 3 easy tests to check yours TODAY

Imagine the struggles and risks of evacuating everyone without your PA system?

But in an emergency…

Will Your Stadium PA System Work?

Worryingly, many won’t.

And here’s why.

  1. Stress testing is avoided by your maintainer for fear of what it might reveal, often linked to 2 & 3 below;
  2. Maintenance is done by those who are NOT sound experts (fire alarm companies are a common choice).
  3. Maintenance is superficial and quick;
  4. It has always worked;
  5. There are backup plans, but untested in a critical situation.

Your PA system should pass the following tests with ease.

In fact…

Your Safety Certificate will include a condition that your PA system is part of your emergency evacuation plan.

sound system with microphone

If your sound techs voice concerns about these tests, it could be they’re keeping secrets from you, or laughing at you.

You might want to ask them – what the hell you pay them for!

*Free Support Offer*

If you have any worries about doing the following, we’ve got a free PA System Safety Test pack offer. Full details at the end of this post.

Test 1 – “Abandon” Match Control Room

PA System

The sound system should always have more than one emergency microphone located in different

parts of the venue so that a secondary location can be used should the primary location be

compromised. (BS 7827 : 2019 Clause 9)

Fire…bomb scare…flooding (we’ve seen a drainage system fail on more than one occasion).

All put your match control room out of action.

If you lack a second emergency microphone, it’s easy to add: receptions are a popular place.

The following test will validate your second announcement point’s emergency capability.

Emergency Microphone Checklist

Fire Telephone

Before you start testing, imagine you are directing the evacuation from this second announcement point and recreate that scene.

Ask people to talk face to face, on radios and phones nearby.

Throughout this test remember that announcements need to be as loud and clear as they are from your match control room.

Now run through these checks (you’ll need someone to listen to your broadcasts):

Test 2 – “Failed” Power Supply

Line array pa system

All parts of the sound system associated with emergency use should be powered such that they

remain in reliable continuous service whether the power is primarily derived from public service

mains, standby generator mains, standby batteries, or a combination of these. (BS 7827 : 2019 Clause 15.3)

Your system must have two sources of power and either should have no trouble running your system in full emergency mode alone.

Power checklist

A serious but common issue is amplifiers shutting down when one of the power sources fails.

To check for this, you need to run the system with just the mains connected then with just the batteries connected, whilst doing the following:

It’s also important that announcements sound the same whether one or both of the supplies are connected.

Test 3 – “Blocked” Safety Announcements

pa system with microphone

Nothing should block live safety announcements. Music, DJ announcements, recorded messages should all be silenced when you make a live announcement from either emergency microphone.

Silence is crucial, lower priority broadcasts should not mix or carry on at a lower volume.

The Match Control microphone often take’s top priority. Sometimes the secondary emergency microphone has equal priority.

Equal priority means, who starts announcing to a zone cannot be overridden by the other emergency microphone.

Broadcast checklist

pava systems with microphone

Here’s the list of broadcast sources, those at the top should silence those below them:

  1. Emergency microphones – these silence everything;
  2. Evacuation recorded messages;
  3. Emergency warning recorded messages (fire alert);
  4. Safety information messages (no smoking, no pyrotechnics etc.);
  5. Music and DJ – everything silences these.

Here’s how to test this:

If you only hear the one you just selected great, if not you need your sound techs to fix it.

The next step is to check that as you switch off each source the lower priority broadcast is heard again.


Lastly, here’s how to check whether your emergency microphones have equal priority or not.

You’ll need someone at both microphones to do this.

*We’re here To Help & Guide…

Outdoor pa system

Free Test Document & Phone Support

We get that it’s your name, your career, your decision, but in our experience, most Stadium PA systems have hidden issues, so please do these tests.

However, if the above seems overwhelming, here’s our free no strings offer.

We’ll create a personalised test document for you and your stadium PA system. This will guide you through the murky waters, of compliance and life safety.

We’ll include our telephone number so you can call us before, during or after the testing, to discuss any worries or issues.

There’s no charge and no expectation by us for anything further.

However, creating a personalised test document takes quite a lot of work so we have to limit this help to the first four who make the request, they can be for any sport – rugby, football, cricket etc.

You’ll need to take some photos – nothing complicated.

Please get in touch, and please do these tests.

And whether you do this with or without our help we’d like to know how you get on.


Good luck and happy testing!


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