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Public Storage operates over 2,000 self-storage facilities across the United States. With the growing mandate for stronger public safety two-way radio signals inside buildings for first responders, Public Storage contacted the experts at SignalBoosters.com to help comply with new local regulations.
[SignalBoosters.com] boosted radio frequency to enable life safety radios to work throughout the building. All testing was performed by the Fire Department. Signal Boosters ensured the requirements were met.Matthew Hobson, Construction Manager of Public Storage
Mandatory Two-Way Radio and Indoor Wireless Communications For First Responders
Public Safety DAS utilizing BDA technology provides enhanced two-way radio service via an antenna system. This ensures that our first responders can maintain wireless communications within a building during medical emergencies, fires, natural disasters and other life-threatening events.
A BDA (Bi-directional Amplifier) system is an in-building communication system that brings wireless signals into the structure from outside, amplifies those signals with a signal booster, and then evenly distributes the amplified signals via a Distributed Antenna System (DAS).
There’s good reason that in many areas BDA’s are now a code driven requirement. During 9/11, firemen and police officers couldn’t communicate properly inside the World Trade Center. This triggered changes to the IFC and NFPA codes greatly improving communications for first responders ensuring their radios work wherever they go. The recent nationwide COVID-19 pandemic has brought the need for fast, reliable communication back into focus, and lawmakers all over the nation are more acutely aware of its necessity than ever before.
Public Safety Signal Boosters shall be installed as per NFPA 1-11.10. NFPA 70 and NFPA 72. Any such system installed on or after April 1st, 2016 shall be adaptable for 700/800 MHz P25 (association of public safety communications officials, project 25). The Installation and Wiring shall comply with the local municipality Building and Fire Departments permitting process and shall be approved by the local and county FCC Licensee prior to installation. The building owner shall install a public safety signal booster to meet this requirement if so directed.
If your building has “dead zones” for public safety radio signal, then installing a BDA system is required. The systems are so important that they require ongoing monitoring and annual testing. A great many jurisdictions are already enforcing fire and building codes requiring adequate coverage inside buildings for public safety communications. More jurisdictions are beginning to enforce every day. There are wide variations of code interpretation and enforcement – so engaging the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), guided by an experienced System Integrator, is essential in ensuring correct project scope, pricing, compliance, and a successful project acceptance and outcome.
Deadlines are approaching for mandatory Public Safety testing as a requirement for a Certificate of Occupancy. SignalBoosters can design and install public safety DAS systems, both active and passive, to meet any local jurisdiction standard. Let our experienced, ERRC certified team evaluate your building prior to receiving a Notice of Violation from your Fire Marshall.
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Not necessarily. The only way to know the answer is to have your building tested. Codes merely require adequate two-way radio clarity and coverage. If your building has sufficient clarity and coverage to meet your local code, you do not need a system.
Unfortunately, no. Cellular boosters are only FCC approved to rebroadcast the cellular carriers’ frequencies. Two-way radio or FirstNet are not supported. However, depending on your local codes, you may be able to add two-way or FirstNet coverage to your existing cable and antenna infrastructure.
Each Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) has their own codes and requirements. Each city does have requirements for in-building emergency radio coverage. In fact, most cities and counties have codes regarding expected coverage indoors for first responder two-way radios.
No. There are strict requirements for the training and expertise necessary to correctly install ERRC (Emergency Responder Radio Coverage) systems. This project is best left to the experts.
That is not entirely correct, there are exceptions. Most codes require testing and coverage if your building has one (or more) of these three characteristics: