ERRC Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System Provider
SignalBooster.com is an ERRC Emergency Responder Radio Coverage system provider and integrator that can help with public safety RF coverage testing - And if needed, installing a public safety signal booster or public safety DAS (distributed antenna system).
A step-by-step type list on acceptance testing procedures as mandated in the International Fire Code, Section 510:
If you're unfamiliar with these systems, you may want to cross-reference and look in International Fire Code, Section 510. If it is an existing building, you may want to look at whether they are required. Such requirement(s), if any, would be found in Chapter 11 of the International Fire Codes. The following will serve as a brief, cursory, step-by-step guide to look at how we're supposed to test ERRC.
What to look for when acceptance testing?
Let us get started by asking ourselves what do we look for, when acceptance testing an in building emergency responder radio coverage system? Know that these systems' sole purpose is to enhance emergency communications for responders in buildings. Note that International Fire Code requires these in building radio systems to be pretty much in every occupancy, new, old and existing.
Let us get started by looking at the power supplies. The primary power source is supplied from a dedicated branch circuit, just like a fire alarm system. The secondary power source is sized to provide 24 hours at 100% operation of the system. This is why when we start testing the system, we must remove AC power and test solely on secondary power.
Next, let us look at signal strength. Before we do the acceptance testing, an installation company such as SignalBooster.com should have provided a signal level report. This report is going to show you the minimum inbound and outbound signal strength is greater than -95dBm. Know that general building areas shall be provided with 90% floor area radio coverage. However, critical areas shall be provided with 99% floor area radio coverage. Critical areas are stairwells, exit doors, etc.
Fire alarm supervision (NFPA-72 & NFPA-1221).
The fire alarm supervision system is important here because it supervises the integrity of these in-building radio systems. What it is going to supervise is antenna malfunction, signal booster or bi-directional public safety amplifier's failure, low battery capacity indication at 70%, loss of normal AC power, and failure battery charger.
Dedicated monitoring panel.
NFPA-1221 Public Safety DAS Annunciator System is a dedicated monitoring panel that shall be provided within the fire command center to enunciate the status of all signal booster locations. The monitoring panel shall provide visual and labelled indication of the following for each signal booster: Normal AC power, signal booster trouble, loss of AC power, failure of battery charger, low battery capacity, and antenna.
Next, let us look at component enclosures. All public safety repeaters, transmitters, receivers, signal booster components, and battery system components shall be contained in a NEMA 4 or 4x type enclosure.
Below is the list of testing sequence.
- Divide each floor into a grid of 20 approximately equal squares. This should have already been provided to you.
- Use a calibrated agency radio.
- Failure of not more than two nonadjacent test areas shall not result in a failure of the test. In event three of the areas fail the test, the floor area shall be permitted to be divided into 40 equal test areas. Failure of not more than four nonadjacent areas shall not result in failure of the test.
- A test location approximately in the center of each test area shall be selected for the test.
- The gain values of all signal amplifiers shall be measured and results kept on file.
- A spectrum analyzer shall be utilized to ensure spurious oscillations are not being generated by signal boosters.
Make yourself familiar with these systems. Make sure that you look in international fire code, section 510. In addition, make sure you're looking at Chapter 11 for existing buildings in international fire code manual. Technical information can be found in NFPA 72 in the 13 Edition and later, and then in NFPA 1221 in the 2016 edition.
ERRC expert required for system design and installation.
Considering the Emergency Responder Radio Coverage is a complex system that must be monitored and approved, installation requires an expert that has experience installing such systems. You cannot expect any audio-video or electricial to be able to test coverage and install based on test results to close coverage gaps. Furthermore, such contractors may not acquire required express consent in writing from all relevant Carriers in your service area to operate such Public Safety Distributed Antenna System devices. Unauthorized use may result in significant forfeiture penalties, including penalties in excess of $100,000 for each continuing violation.
On other hand, a specialist such as SignalBooster.com will comb the entire building, carry out site survey and tests to design, recommend, consult and superbly integrate the proper in-building ERRC system ideal for the premises. You can also request for public safety grid test to be carried out during the first phase of the building construction to ascertain if any BDA system will be needed.
Where shared systems are allowed, note that the ERRC system will integrate multi-cellular and wireless carriers. Every customer has different and unique needs and the specialists on the ground will determine the perfect system that will work in your location. Generally, most public safety communication systems require 700 MHz-800 MHz while others necessitate VHF 150 MHz to 170 MHz and UHF 450 MHz to 470 MHz.
What will emergency responder radio coverage specialist provide?
Apart from ensuring IFC and NFPA codes are met, the specialist will also provide different services, including:
- Tests for RF coverage.
- Plans for system maintenance.
- Local fire code requirements and ordinances consultation.
- Complete installation of the system and total integration.
- Frequency bands supported.
Throughout the testing, installation and management process, the specialist ensures different requirements are met. As such, safety is assured and operational efficiency and effectiveness for first and emergency responders and firefighters is increased considerably.