NFPA Fire Code Changes: BDA System Required in All Buildings by 2022
Does the Code Change Affect My Building?
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. The new code will require buildings to be verified as in compliance by 2022, so time is of the essence. This applies to many verticals including:
- Office buildings
- Parking structures and storage unit facilities
- Hotels and hospitality venues
- Malls and retail centers
- Stadiums and arenas
- Airports, train stations, and other transit centers
A reliable public safety communications system meets all the following requirements:
- It’s on a different spectrum than your commercial wireless and is strictly for the use of first responders.
- Its signal covers the entire building. This includes at least 99% coverage of critical areas such as fire pump rooms, exit stairs, exit passageways and elevator lobbies and in some jurisdictions, actually inside the elevator shaft.
- It has a backup power source such as a 12 to 24-hour battery backup unit that keeps the system operational if the building’s power is out.
- It has a monitoring system that alerts you to a number of code required system malfunctions.
By working with a qualified integrator like TELECO to install a public safety communications system in your building, you can help first responders receive crucial support in the most difficult circumstances.
Getting a Certificate of Occupancy
Certificates of occupancy that have already been issued for commercial buildings may not be affected by the code change until 2022. Some apartment buildings will also not be affected potentially until 2025. However, a new Certificate of Occupancy will not be issued until the new fire code requirements are met.
Testing Your Building to Determine if it Needs a BDA System
To determine whether your building needs a BDA system, the code requires that the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) in your area make the judgment.
At TELECO, our goal is to be your trusted partner for testing, design, installation and maintenance in new construction or retrofit projects while keeping costs within budget. We’ve created designs and performed installations that meet the code and are AHJ approved for both new and retrofit installations.
Why TELECO Public Safety DAS?
TELECO’s FirstNet™ compatible and scalable systems are trusted by the professionals that depend on them when responding to an emergency. Our team of public safety DAS engineers will design, install and maintain a system that complies with the first responder radio coverage requirements.
At TELECO, we are registered with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). We work closely with the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and fire professionals to provide an approved system that meets their requirements. We test a building with industry calibrated equipment to gain an understanding of the signal strength and we target only areas needing enhancement to keep costs to a minimum. We use manufacturer-trained, certified installation and commissioning technicians to design both public safety and cellular DAS systems using tools such as AutoCAD and iBwave. Additionally, we serve as the building owner’s representative to validate systems as a 3rd party inspector/project manager.