What are the new building code requirements in our area?
According to the 2015 New Jersey and New York International Fire Code (IFC), section 510, “All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building…” Additionally, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 Section 24.5.2 (2013 Edition) dictates that radio coverage shall be provided with 99 percent floor area coverage in critical areas and 90 percent floor area radio coverage in general building areas.
Read the New Jersey Building Codes here:
Read the New York Building Codes here:
What does that mean?
If you own a building constructed after Sept. 21, 2015 in New Jersey and October 3, 2016 in New York State, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ), such as the Fire Sub-Code Official, shall require you to survey, and if required, install an Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES) / Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) in your building. Building owners are responsible for hiring a certified company to ensure the survey, system design, and installation meet code.
New Jersey Reference: https://www.state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/codreg/
New York Reference: https://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/CodeUpdate.html
Are there exceptions?
Yes, there are some exceptions in certain situations. IFC 510 lists these 3 exceptions for new buildings:
- Where approved by the building official and the fire code official, a wired communication system in accordance with Section 907.2.13.2 shall be permitted to be installed or maintained instead of an approved radio coverage system.
- Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radio coverage system is not needed.
- In facilities where emergency responder radio coverage is required and such systems, components or equipment required could have a negative impact on the normal operations of that facility, the fire code official shall have the authority to accept an automatically activated emergency responder radio coverage system.
How do I know if my building needs emergency radio coverage?
The best way to determine if your building requires emergency radio coverage is to hire a licensed professional to survey your structure.
AC Daughtry is licensed to perform all phases of work necessary to satisfy the new code requirements, from survey to installation. Give us a call at 973-335-3931 to discuss your options.
My building already has emergency radio coverage, so I’m good, right?
Not necessarily. These latest building codes require 90% radio coverage in general building areas and 99% radio coverage in critical areas. Additionally, a minimum signal strength of -95dBm shall be receivable within the building and a minimum signal strength of -95dBm shall be received by the agency’s radio system when transmitting from within the building. This means that while your building may be able to receive radio communications it may not be able to transmit at the required signal levels back to the public safety radio towers. This may be especially the case if your building utilizes the latest construction materials such as low-e glass that reflect and radio signals.
AC Daughtry can help you determine if your system meets code requirements. Give us a call at 973-335-3931 to schedule an appointment or talk to an expert.
What devices meet these new codes?
Notifier by Honeywell is a fully integrated solution on the market that is UL-2524 listed. The Notifier Addressable Class B BDA’s are signal boosters for in-building 2-way emergency radio communication enhancement and includes the following features:
- Supports all public safety frequency bands
- UL2524 In-building 2-Way Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems listing
- CSFM listing
- NFPA 72 2010 Edition, NFPA 1221 2016 Edition and IFC 2018 compliant
- Built-In NOTIFIER Addressable Monitor Module
- Various models available for UHF, VHF,700MHz, 800 MHz and multi-band
- Integrated dual power supply and battery charger with intelligent battery monitoring
- National Electrical Manufacturing Association (NEMA) 4 Type (UL Type-4) Approved Equipment Enclosure
- NEMA 3R Type (UL Type-3R) Approved Battery Enclosure
- Supports higher system gain for efficient link budgeting
What does UL mean and why do I need a UL Listed product?
UL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to public safety that evaluates and tests products for safety risks. UL stands for Underwriters Laboratories (www.ul.com).
Who can install these types of systems?
IFC 510 lists the minimum requirements for personnel to include both of the following:
- A valid FCC-issued general radio operators license (GROL).
- Certification of inbuilding system training issued by a nationally recognized organization, school or a certificate issued by the manufacturer of the equipment being installed.
Whether you need a survey, system design, installation or annual testing, AC Daughtry is licensed to perform all phases of work necessary to satisfy the new code requirements. Give us a call at 973-335-3931 or contact us online to discuss your options.