In buildings with elderly occupants, it is important to consider, especially with a growing number of care/support environments, that there is the potential for the frequency drop-off for older persons especially those with hearing impairments, and as such a possible 15% drop in “DB levels” might need to be considered.
Thus, a sounder/acoustic test might be necessary more frequently that the standard asks for especially in sites where the incumbent is long standing and no take-over test has taken place. The incumbent or incoming service provider should also strongly resist the clients objections not to do a sounder test due to the disruption or distress it may cause. Better to know in advance if the more elderly or hearing-impaired occupants are aware of what is going on around them.
Considerations also where residents may have issues with drugs and alcohol where similar issues may apply.
Obviously, a competent third-party certified FRA should also make reference and comment on these issues to allow the RP/Accountable person to make an informed decision.
It is important to remember that the minimum requirements of the standard may not always be sufficient for the client’s needs and when applicable they need to be told this irrespective of cost implications.