Basic Information

Address: 17141 Kingsview Ave Carson Ca 90746
Phone Number: 310-515-1900
Fax Number: 310515-1606
Person of Contact: Joe Martinez

Action Shots


* Click each thumbnail for a larger version.

Additional Information

Store Hours: 7:30AM -4 PM PST M-F
Supplies For: Schools, School Districts
Area Served: National USA
Coupons/Discounts: Contact OWI via email to receive a 5% discount voucher when K12 Academics directory is mentioned.

OWI makes a variety of cost effective amplifed speakers to enahce the audio for projectors and flat panels.

OWI Inc is a California manufacturer of speakers provide cost effective solutons of classroom audio. OWI speakers also help schools and school districts comply with life safety and ADA regulations as they apply to audio, allowing for "ducking" or shutting of in the event of emergency pages and quick and esay integration with assisted listening devices.

OWI makes Bluetooth volume controls to add Bluetooth to new, existig and future audio systems. Decades of experience has taught us that teachers need a manual control for BLuettoth in a classroom.

OWI makes all manner of outdoor speakers for quads, sport fields, gyms and more.

Brand Names:


Additional Information:

NFPA 72 and You- Audio Systems
What is NFPA 72?
NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code®) provides the latest safety
provisions and requirements for fire detection, signaling, and emergency
communications. These rules also involve notification systems for weather
emergencies, terrorist events, biological, chemical, and nuclear emergencies.
As technology advances, we face new challenges and new capabilities for
disaster notification and emergency signaling. This guide focuses on the audio
requirements-- it breaks down these rules and requirements into a more concrete,
easier to understand format. Short examples show frequent problems and how to
deal with them.
Topic Overview:
Relevant NFPA
72 Sections
Disclaimer and Helpful
Equipment for NFPA 72
Priority Audio 24.4.7, 24.5.13
Volume and Intelligibility 18.1-18.4.5
PA/Fire Alarm Interface 24.5.25, 24.3
Emergency/PA Communication
18.4, 24.4.2,
Emergency Communication for
Buildings and Campuses
G.1, G.2
Mass Notification System A.3.3, A.18
Summary -
This guide is a detailed overview of rules and regulations from NFPA 72
and how they apply to audio systems and emergency notifications in the real
world. However, please keep in mind that this guide is meant as a supplement to,
and not a replacement of the official NFPA 72 rules. Please consult the guide in its
entirety and with local authorities to ensure full compliance.
Complying and Applying NFPA 72 with OWI:
OWI's AMP-HD2SIC speaker series can integrate with life safety in several
ways. If the speakers are integrated with a paging system, the audio ducking
feature meets the requirement to prioritize emergency notifications. In cases this
system is not in place (very often, unfortunately), OWI has provided a method to
make the system compliant quickly, easily, and cost-effectively. In either use
case, OWI's speakers provide greater intelligibility (and therefore safety) than what
is found in the industry at this current time.
Priority Audio:
With more devices playing audio around than ever before, public areas can be
louder than ever. NFPA 72 emphasizes priority audio for this reason.
On a basic level, priority audio causes whatever sound is coming from the
speakers during normal operation to be silenced during emergency
announcements and high-priority messages. It's easy to imagine a situation with
movie audio or loud music playing through the speakers--without silencing this
audio, the emergency messages might not be heard, and lives could be in danger.
However, NFPA 72 has some specific requirements for having a priority
system work to code:
1. Priority notification should not be overridden by other devices. This
one's rather self-explanatory-- the definition of priority.
2. When mass-notification (for example, an evacuation message) is given
priority over the fire alarm sound, there must be a clear audio and visual
indicator at the fire alarm control unit that mass-notification is active.
This is to ensure the mass-notification isn't accidentally kept on,
accidentally overriding the fire alarm indefinitely. (See mass-notification
section for more info on notifications)
3. The fire alarm system must not automatically override emergency
mass-notification messages. Mass-notification typical includes
instructions for evacuation and other important information.
Live voice announcements have some additional requirements. They are
assumed to be the most current and informed about the situation, so they must
override any previously initiated signals to the notified areas. They also must have
priority over any automatic notification signals initiated during the announcement.
Basically, the live messages have priority over automatic priority messages.
Finally, the priority between individual mass-notification messages (in the case
multiple are triggered and have times that overlap) must be established in an
emergency response plan. This plan defines the priorities of the different
messages and authorizes the cases in which the fire alarm system can be
overridden with live voice or a manually activated high-priority message. These
manual overrides of the fire alarm system are only permitted in cases approved in
the response plan.
Simply activating the microphone for a live announcement cannot
automatically override the fire alarm system and enter mass-notification mode.
Having an extra step to override the alarms helps ensure that overrides are only
activated under the permitted circumstances
Volume and Intelligibility:
All the detailed emergency notifications, evacuation instructions, and
sounding alarms won't do any good if they cannot be heard and understood. For
these reasons, NFPA goes into detail on guidelines for audio volume and
intelligibility. Keep in mind, however, that NFPA 72 recognizes that each
emergency notification system is different, and that the ultimate guideline for these
systems is for all "notification appliances" (Speakers, in our case) to be in sufficient
number, location, volume, and clarity to clearly and quickly relay the specific
information to the intended personal during an emergency.
Per NFPA's guidelines, the required volume of alarms and notifications is
based on the ambient noise levels of the individual rooms during typical occupied
activity. Typical noise includes whatever activities might occur in the space during
occupancy, along with other miscellaneous sound sources like office cleaning
equipment (vacuum cleaners), running fans, etc. Note that this audibility
requirement applies to all occupiable spaces--closets, for example, do not count.
NFPA sets a strict minimum volume level for emergency notification: either
5 dB (decibels) above the peak noise level in the space, or 15dB above the
average noise level (whichever is higher of the two). These levels are measured 5
feet from the floor in the appropriate area, and are measured with the A-weighted
scale (dBA, a slightly modified decibel scale that considers which sound
frequencies are perceived as louder to humans--the higher-pitched ones).
Note that the dB scale is not linear! A +10 dB change results in a sound that
is twice as loud. For example, typical office conversation is ~60 dB. A typical
vacuum cleaner has a loudness of 70 dB. Modern movie theatres can have peak
loudness of 130 dB!
For reference, the +5dB above peak noise requirement equals 1.4 times
the peak noise on a linear scale. The +15 dB above average noise level
requirement works out to 2.8 times louder! Emergency notifications must be
clearly heard and understood in all foreseeable circumstances--keep in mind that
a loss of ~5 dB of perceived sound can occur 10 feet away from the speaker, and
that a closed door can decrease the sound level by ~30 dB. These rules to ensure
quick understanding of emergency situations are some of the most important.
Sometimes a difference of seconds can mean life or death during evacuations.
The alarm tone itself must be clear and distinct from all other noise in the
affected area, and only used as an alarm tone for emergencies and tests. For all
modern systems, the alarm tone is required to be in a 3-pulse format: 3 pulses
every 2 seconds, followed by a 2 second silence.
Finally, the maximum safe sound level permitted in a space is 110 dB. For
reference, this is approximately the sound level of a helicopter taking off from ~75
feet away. For locations with the greatest noise (theatres/music venues, machine
shops, anywhere loud music or audio is played over the speakers), it is essential
that the source of the loudest noise be cut off when the emergency signal sounds.
Priority audio systems (detailed in the previous section) are a great way to make
emergency notifications clear in the loudest environments, but they're only useful if
they're used! By playing loud music over a boom box or unconnected speakers,
you could be endangering yourself and all those around you. Make sure you play
your audio (especially loud audio) through your priority-enabled speakers!
PA/Fire Alarm Interface:
Simply having NFPA 72 capable equipment in your building isn't enough.
NFPA 72 sets numerous guidelines as to how the public address and fire alarm
systems must be set up and operated for safety.
NFPA 72-appropriate PA systems require that:
-emergency messages have priority over non-emergency messages
-all individual volume controls default to the appropriate emergency
broadcast level (detailed in the previous section) when used for emergency
-if special equipment is in place to monitor the functionality of the circuitry of
the public-address system this monitoring must continue even when volume
for speakers is set to "off" or 0
Also, whenever announcements are made over the PA system (such as
evacuation instructions or other info) during an emergency event, the fire alarm
sounds must be deactivated. Note that priority audio systems will automate this.
Instructions for how to use the microphone and PA system must be posted at the
mic location.
Connected speaker systems are popular for emergency notification
because the speakers have many uses-- such as paging or playing music. NFPA
72 mandates that any of these extra features do not interfere with the crucial
emergency notification capabilities. These extra features must be inspected and
tested annually to verify that they do not interfere with the fire alarm or notification
systems. The essential speakers and equipment for emergencies must also be
installed with safeguards to resist tampering or mis-adjustment-- the system must
always be ready to signal when disaster strikes.
Emergency/PA Communication Guidelines: