Radio System Enhancement

Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) FOR Hi-Rise Buildings

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Many condominiums and building owners are unaware that the state of Florida now requires in-building coverage for public safety radio enhancement systems.  The requirement was adopted from a section of the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) code written to provide more effective and reliable in-building radio communications for law enforcement officers and paramedics as well as firefighters.

To clarify the confusion around this new requirement, owners and builders should know what the code actually requires.  NFPA 1 Section 11.10.1 specifies that “In all new and existing buildings, minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications shall be maintained at a level determined by the AHJ.”

Is My Building Compliant? 

Your building may not need a Radio Enhancement System.  The public safety radio signal strength inside of your building is impacted by three main factors:

  • Your building’s size

  • How close your building is to an existing AHJ radio tower

  • The materials used in the construction of your building

 

Taking these variables into consideration, Florida Fire Protection Associates are trained to use equipment specifically designed to measure radio signal strength in your building and determine if you have adequate signal from the Donor Radio Tower to meet Florida’s requirement.

In accordance with the code, we first divide the building into multiple equally sized grids.   The signal in each grid is then tested to see if it meets the standard set by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction’s (AHJ).  The AHJ receives our full report with the results from each grid test.  Keep in mind that the NNFA code (1221 and 72) requires that there be a minimum of 99% radio coverage in critical areas and 95% in common areas.

What Do I Do If My Building Isn’t Compliant?

Fire officials in your location usually require that you install a Radio Enhancement System if your building fails RF grid testing and needs increased coverage. As with all your compliance needs, FFPA has the solutions and service necessary to make installations like these a fast and simple process.    

For more information, call FFPA at 561-909-7096 or FLORIDAFIREPROTECTION.COM