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Public Safety Two-Way Radio Enhancement System Requirements


The requirements for Emergency Responder Radio Coverage depends entirely upon state and local codes and the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) where the building/structure is located. The state and local codes determine which national and international standards are applicable and which version of these standards apply.

In some localities the International Fire Code Section 510 is the primary source of requirements, in other localities, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) NFPA-72/1221 recommendations are applicable, and sometimes a mix of both, but always based upon state and local codes and the AHJ.

Both the International Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association requirements have been evolving over the past 10 years, with the first reference to same in the 2010 NFPA72 and 2009 International Fire codes. Because of this evolution, different versions of the national/international codes are applicable, depending upon the AHJ.
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Requirements Evolution
Initially local codes were limited to required inbound and outbound signal levels.  As the national and international codes evolved, requirements were added covering backup power systems, equipment enclosures, monitoring requirements, and antenna isolation requirements.

The latest version of NFPA1221 requires all cabling to be plenum rated and backbone cables and equipment to be installed in fire-rated enclosures matching the building rating.  It also requires AHJ approval of designs, a formal permitting process, critical coverage area definition, and channel capacity.  Absolute signal levels are no longer required in favor of Delivered Audio Quality (DAQ) requirements, with signal levels determined by the AHJ. Many other requirements have been expanded/added to the code, and the evolution of the code continues.

Future code changes are expected to require specific listing (UL-2524) of Radio Enhancement System components and perhaps cellular coverage requirements.
InBuildingRadio Experience and Capabilities
InBuildingRadio is an active member of NPFA and the Safer Buildings Coalition, and as such is a contributor to the development and refinement of these standards, and aware of both existing standards and anticipated changes.  InBuildingRadio has interfaced with numerous AHJs throughout the country and is adept at both determining requirements and developing and documenting designs compliant with these requirements.  InBuildingRadio has developed and received AHJ approval for radio systems in locations with the even the most stringent requirements.
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