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Basic Public Safety Signal Booster Guide

Aug 17, 2018

Basic Public Safety Signal Booster Guide

One of the most overlooked problems in public safety for decades has been the issue of public safety radio dead zones inside buildings.

First responders like police officers, firefighters, and EMTs rely on their radios to deal with emergency situations. Their radios are one of their most important tools. But, inside many of the millions of buildings in USA, there're radio dead zones. These areas can be deadly for both the first responders and the people they try to help.

Fortunately, there's a way to enhance public safety signals. Building developers, construction, and property management companies in conjunction with building owners or managers can install public safety signal boosters on their premises.

What is a Public Safety Radio Signal Booster?

A public safety signal booster for radios amplifies the signal from the three public safety frequencies with include the new FirstNET network frequencies: 700MHz, 800MHz, and 900MHz. Once amplified, practically all areas of the building can get strong wireless communication signals. Like fire hydrants, it is built into a rugged "red" colored box that is installed on your property.

The cellular booster is also equipped with an emergency battery backup system. It can be monitored remotely with a secure connection from a smartphone or laptop.

The signal booster is also connected to an alarm system called public safety signal booster annunciator so that if it should lose power and the battery backup should stop working, the installation monitoring service will be notified of that issue and will be able to dispatch technician(s) to arrange to repair or replace the unit.

Understanding the Critical Need.

Public safety signal boosters are badly needed in thousands if not millions of buildings all over United States. Imagine if you were a police officer or a firefighter and needed to radio for backup support. But, you discover that nobody could hear you.

When you're in a building and can't get any cell phone signal, you call it a dead zone. The same principle applies to first responder radio signals. Except, in the case of public safety signal dead zones, people can actually die because of the lack of communication.

Having a reliable public safety radio signal keeps first responders and the people inside of the building safer.

Having a public safety signal booster is literally a lifesaving measure.

Remaining Complaint with Changing Building Codes.

States, counties, and cities everywhere are currently rewriting their building codes to make sure that this issue of public safety signal dead zones is addressed. Many jurisdictions already require building owners to install public safety signal enhancing technology if their premises have dead zones.

More jurisdictions are adding this requirement every day.

The time will soon come when having a public safety signal booster is required everywhere, much like having adequate fire suppression systems are now an almost universal requirement.

Types of Buildings That May Need Signal Boosters.

The specific types of buildings that need a public safety signal booster will vary based on a number of factors such as location, terrain, building materials, configuration of radio towers in the area, and the physical layout of the building.

Public safety boosters have been successfully installed in buildings such as:

  • Hospitals.
  • Hotels.
  • Medical clinics.
  • Schools.
  • Universities.
  • Warehouses.
  • Shopping malls.
  • Stadiums.
  • Airports.
  • Parking garages.
  • Elevators.
  • Apartment buildings.
  • Office buildings.
  • All multi-story buildings.

Installing a public safety signal booster is not just about making sure your building is compliant with local codes. It is about making sure the occupants of your building are as safe as possible and making sure that first responders who show up to help during an emergency are not faced with unnecessary risks.

It is time to do your part to make sure that first responders are able to safely come out of every building they go into. Public safety signal boosters save lives.

If you have any questions on how we can assist you in designing and installing a public safety radio signal booster system, please contact us.

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  • I really sympathize with building owners who have to keep up with the latest requirements for public safety signal boosters. No one would say they’re a waste of money, but I wonder how easy it is for building owners to keep up with the regulations.

    Teresa T. Pennebaker on
  • Have you ever read cell phone signal booster reviews? I did and it’s amazing what cell phone signal boosters can do for your home when you have spotty cell phone coverage. They boost the existing signal so you don’t get dropped calls and you enjoy much better voice quality. Now picture that, only with the radios used by first responders. These public safety signal boosters help firefighters, police officers, and other first responders so they get a strong signal when they answer a call. Thus, when they go into a burning building, they can talk with their colleagues. Now if a building doesn’t have a public safety signal booster, there’s no telling what will happen because buildings can block signals. Is it any surprise these public safety signal boosters are becoming required in new buildings?

    Brian Rogers on
  • Who pays the Surecall company for these public safety boosters? It sounds like public safety boosters belong in any building where you have a lot of people gathered whether it’s an apartment building, stadium, or university. However, are cell phone booster manufacturers like Surecall doing anything to make these affordable for government facilities such as low-income housing? Surecall’s public safety boosters sound great, but I don’t know if everyone can afford them for their building.

    Darryl Woods on
  • Have you ever walked into an elevator while you’re talking to someone on your cell phone only for the doors to close and for you to lose your call? I think that’s the best way to understand how building materials can weaken or block cell phone signals. Cell phone booster manufacturers have recognized this problem, resulting in the development of not only cell phone signal boosters for home, but for buildings, stadiums, etc. More importantly, they’ve identified the problem (mentioned here) where first responders experience the same weakened signals or dead zones. That’s why you’re seeing things like Surecall’s public safety signal boosters. It’s desperately needed and it’s something I know can save lives when installed.

    Lance Gibbons on
  • I’m so glad that cell phone booster manufacturers make public safety boosters. They sound essential for all buildings, especially for schools and hospitals (actually, any place where the public is at risk should have a public safety booster). Personally, I think new homes should have them too (hopefully it’s cost-effective) as you can’t be too careful with first responders (who in turn are helping me and you out of bad situations). Does anyone know if Surecall makes public safety boosters?

    Harvey Goodson on
  • I’ve read a lot about cell phone boosters and know there are a lot of cell phone booster manufacturers. I’m familiar with Surecall, WeBoost, and Wilson Pro products but I’m just getting familiar with public safety signal boosters. I used to think first responders had a strong radio system that didn’t need any help. Turns out I was wrong. As this blog explains, they can have the same problems as civilians, that is, bad reception or dropped calls. The big difference is first responders’ lives can be jeopardized. I’m so glad there are public safety signal boosters and hope they are installed in any of the buildings mentioned here, whether it’s universities, hospitals, or malls.

    Ridge Sinclair on

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