Fire Code Overview
There are specific differences between the International Fire Code and National Fire Protection Agency Code that apply to emergency responder radio coverage systems. These differences are changing on a yearly basis as the code makers tweak their code to meet advancements in technology. These variations are difficult to stay in front of, but Amplified Wireless Solutions is at the forefront of code enforcement and can bring value to all customers with the specific details that pertain to them.
International Fire Code
510.1 Emergency responder radio coverage in new buildings. 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 utilized by the jurisdiction measured at the exterior of the building. This section shall not require improvement of the existing public safety communication systems. Exceptions:
1. 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 in lieu of an approved radio coverage system. 2. Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radio coverage system is not needed. 3. 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.
2015 International Fire Code:
510.4.1.1 Minimum signal strength into the building. A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm (90% of the time) shall be receivable within the building.
510.4.1.2 Minimum signal strength out of the building. A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm shall be received by the agency’s radio system when transmitted from within the building.
Changes will be expected in the IFC Fire Code for the 2018 version.
Basic DAS Requirements
1. Requires permits and design submittals
2. Must amplify both the Police/Fire/EMS system based on AHJ recommendations
3. Minimum signal strength of -95dBm in 90% of each floor with a delivered audio quality (DAQ) of 3 or better.
4. Critical areas to supply 99% coverage. (Command centers, fire control, pump rooms, exit stairs, elevators)
5. NEMA 4 enclosures for all active components – any AC or DC powered device
6. 12 or 24 Hr. auxiliary power back up depending on jurisdiction (Generator, UPS, Battery)
7. Alarm output to a dedicated Fire Panel (supervised circuit)
8. Test grid size based on maximum 20 in 128,000 SF per floor. Larger floor spaces would require 40 grids per floor.
10.AHJ may have a list of approved equipment (compliant signal boosters, etc.)
11.Annual testing and Certification – every 12 months. Procedures as defined by the AHJ (NFPA 72, 2010 188.8.131.52.6)