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Public Safety DAS & BDA Requirements to comply with NFPA codes

Oct 26, 2017

Public Safety DAS & BDA Requirements to comply with NFPA codes

Public Safety Communication system is defined as a wireless communications system that is used by first responders and emergency services, such as medical and ambulance services, police, first responders and disaster response units. This system is used exclusively to respond to emergency situations where there is a threat to life and property.

Maintaining the Public Safety Communication system is of the greatest importance. We provide BDA & DAS inspections and re-certification service to make sure your signal enhancing system consistently works optimally year after year, to meet your city's fire codes as designated by your city's fire marshal's office. First responders should be able to communicate clearly over their radios at all times and the systems should not break down at any stage. That is why you need Public Safety DAS or BDA system if your building has dead spots for public safety band frequencies. DAS stands for distributed antenna systems and they extend public safety mobile coverage to the interiors of a building for all public safety bands. BDA stands for Bi-Directional Amplifier system, AKA passive signal booster or amplifier system.

Passive public safety signal boosters or amplifiers such as GUARDIAN3 QR Quick Response Public Safety Signal Booster ensure that radio signals are able to penetrate through all corners of the building or facility, including areas that are considered difficult for the radio frequencies to penetrate. This is accomplished with exterior donor antenna(s) that absork signals, indoor bi-directional amplifier(s) that multiply or amplify those signals, and interior broadcast antennae that distribute the signals indoors into all corners of the building or facility.

With the SureCall Guardian3 public safety repeater, you can be sure that the RFs will be able to penetrate through shielded and protected areas within the building, basements, elevators, thick walled spaces and other tricky areas within the building. This public safety repeater or amplifier can boost coverage for up to 80,000 sq. feet and boosts signals on all Public Safety Bands. It works in conjunction with this Annunciator and this Battery Back-up. Annunciator displays status of the donor antenna in addition to many other status alerts.

To ensure that the Public Safety Bands can be accessed by all buildings at all times, even during the time of a natural disaster, the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and IFC (International Fire Code) have come up with a framework for an in-building safety communications coverage, which applies to all buildings within United States.

Brief overview of codes and requirements from NFPA for Public Safety DAS.

    • | Coverage Areas

According to the NFPA, All critical areas such as fire command centers, exit stairs, exit passageways, fire pump rooms and elevator lobbies should have provided with a minimum of 99% floor area radio coverage.

    • |  Signal Strength

The NFPA mandates that the signal strength of inbound signals should be −95 dBm at least. This signal strength should hold throughout the area under coverage.

Similarly, the signal strength of outbound signals should be a minimum of −95 dBm at the site of the building. There cannot be a compromise on this.

    • | General Building Areas

The NFPA adds that all general building areas should have radio coverage for at least 90 percent of the floor space.

    • | Amplification Components

Here's the important part - NFPA has mandated that if a building or a structure cannot support the level of radio coverage that is considered mandatory as per its guidelines, they should be equipped with a public safety distributed antenna system or bi-directional signal amplification system.

This means you should have DAS or FCC certified signal boosters installed in your building if your building does not meet above stated requirements. We sell, market and install DAS as well as FCC approved public safety signal boosters, repeaters or amplifiers from leading companies such as Wilson Electronics and Surecall, which extend the power of public safety band frequency signals into your building to meet above stated requirements.

The guidelines from the IFC (International Fire Code) are very similar to those of the NFPA. IFC wants a minimum radio coverage for all areas within the building and suggests the use of Public Safety DAS, or passive signal boosters, amplifiers or repeaters.

Do call us if you are looking for a reliable and experienced partner for your Public Safety DAS or BDAs installation project. Our team of professional installers carry out a detailed inspection of your building and install customized Public Safety DAS or signal booster solutions based on the requirements as stipulated by the NFPA and IFC.

Call for FREE consultation:


Or request a quote for Public Safety DAS or Signal Booster Installation to get started.

Public Safety Signal Booster Installation Diagram

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  • This hype article brings up a point people probably forget about…maintaining your public safety signal booster to make sure it’s state-of-the-art and meets the current guidelines. I don’t know what the consequences would be if someone had a public safety booster system but failed to keep up with whatever changes there are (especially if it no longer worked for first responders). I’m glad I read this.

    Jerry Padgett on
  • Does the code require the BDA unit it self be in a fire rated assembly? Does the code require the cabling be fire rated protected as well?

    Lindsey on
  • Does this have annunciation? Does the Donor antenna have supervision? Battery Back up? NFPA clearly asks for these things, did I miss something?

    Joe Cresca on
  • Does this have annunciation? Does the Donor antenna have supervision? Battery Back up? NFPA clearly asks for these things, did I miss something?

    Joe Cresca on
  • WHY IS MY PHONE SIGNAL CONSISTENTLY ONLY ONE BAR? The first thing you should understand is that signal bars aren’t an accurate representation of your cell phone’s signal strength. You may recall having one bar and getting good reception while having four bars and experiencing dropped calls. A better way to gauge your strength is to check your phone’s decibels. Decibel-milliwatts will indicate how good your signal is. Decibel-milliwatts (dBm’s) range from -50 to -150, with -50 being the ideal.

    Oliver Olsen on
  • Good to know things are being implemented for helping first responders. On a personal note, why is my phone signal consistently only one bar? It is aggravating that my signal strength is that low.

    Barney Hall on
  • Interesting to see regulations being drawn up to keep up with improvements in technology. I don’t know what’s finally got people pushing Public Safety DAS & BDA requirements, but it’s about time. I can’t imagine going somewhere and wondering whether a firefighter or police officer can do their job because they can’t get in touch with their partners or commanders. There are ways how to boost cell phone signals and ways to guarantee good communication for fire and police. I hope these go into place everywhere and they go in soon.

    Joe Morgan on
  • I’m so glad I’ve been reading the articles here. This is an important issue that doesn’t get the coverage that is warranted. I hope more people talk to their local politicians about making sure these devices are in place so first responders have the coverage they need (and we, the public benefit from). Signal boosters are a must!

    Morgan Matthews on
  • Very Insightful. I will check this out with you guys. It’s obvious you guys knows the stuff. I would give you a call soon. Thank you.

    Joyce Levey on

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