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NFPA Coverage and Public Safety Signal Booster Requirements Overview

Feb 17, 2019

NFPA Coverage and Public Safety Signal Booster Requirements Overview

The following is a brief overview of NFPA coverage requirements and public safety signal booster system requirements. Local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) may have more stringent requirements and must be consulted prior to deployment.

Critical Area Coverage: 99%

99% (NFPA 1221 coverage required in Critical areas:

  • Emergency Command Center(s).
  • Fire Pump Room(s).
  • Exit Stairs.
  • Exit Passageways.
  • Elevator Lobbies.
  • Standpipe Cabinets.
  • Sprinkler Sectional.
  • Valve Locations.

General Area Coverage: 90% to 95%

General building areas should have (90% NFPA 1221 and (95% "all floors of the building", IFC 510.5.3, Draft 2018 edition) coverage.

Signal Booster Components:

Boosters should have FCC certification prior to installations.

Analog and digital communications.

All signal boosters shall be compatible with both analog and digital communications simultaneously at the time of installation.

Component Enclosures.

All signal booster and components shall be contained in NEMA-4 or 4X type enclosure(s).

Donor Antenna Isolation.

Isolation shall be maintained between the donor antenna and all inside antennae. A signal generator is recommended to test for Isolation.

Dedicated Monitoring / Annunciator Panel:

A dedicated monitoring panel shall be provided within the emergency command center to annunciate the status of any signal booster(s). The monitoring panel shall provide visual and labeled indication of the following for each signal booster:

  • Normal AC power.
  • Signal booster trouble.
  • Loss of normal AC power.
  • Failure of battery charger.
  • Low-battery capacity.
  • Antenna failure.

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  • These public safety boosters are essential for first responders, but I’m a bit dismayed by the “general area coverage” requirements of “90% to 95%.” I see that “essential” areas require 99% but is it that more difficult or expensive to make it all 99%? That should be the standard unless there’s something I’m missing here.

    Julie Leonard on
  • I would think that no device is going to provide 100% coverage but 99% from a public safety bda for the critical areas sounds impressive. Things are going to happen but I’d feel secure knowing there’s a 99% chance your radio will get you in touch with your base rather than walking in with no idea whether it will work, especially when you need help from your fellow responders.

    Darren Prescott on
  • I suppose this is a good starting point for someone curious about DAS room requirements. However, I’d make sure you have a reliable installation outfit that’s familiar with all the details for your municipality as well whether it’s bda fire alarms or the proper fire rated das cable. The article points this out but I’m not sure if everyone will catch it.

    Alex Hanson on

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