Existing DAS Installation Inspection & Re-Certification Service
DAS Inspections and DAS Certifications: City Fire Code Requirements.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC) added fire codes for radio coverage systems used by first-responders to their standards in 2009. These codes are intended to make sure that emergency responders including EMTs, police, and firefighters are able to communicate from inside any structure, without being hampered by signal loss inside these buildings.
One of the requirements of these new codes is that contractors need to make sure that radio coverage for emergency responders is adequate in both new structures and buildings that have been renovated extensively. If the coverage is not sufficient, the contractor needs to install distributed antenna systems (DAS) or bi-directional amplifiers (BDA) to increase coverage.
For first installations, SignalBooster.com provides initial DAS Inspections and DAS Certifications as Required by Fire Marshals to meet respective City Fire Codes.
For the initial installation of these systems, respective Verizon Wireless, AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint Approvals and Permits are required to install and begin signal enhancement service if needed for all carriers involved. Rather than having to deal with cellular service providers to get these approvals, SignalBooster.com helps contractors and end-users/ businesses obtain these approvals as part of our service.
After initial installation, building managers and business property owners are responsible for demonstrating that BDA and DAS equipment has been re-certified as per NFPA 72 (National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code), and section 510.6.1 (Testing and proof of compliance) of the ICC code. Although this might sound simple, it is not always easy to do so, in practice.
Some municipalities (not all) have started enforcing NFPA/ICC regulations in the last number of years. This has resulted in building managers getting notices from fire marshals requiring DAS/ BDA re-certification and re-inspection out of the blue. The NFPA calls this "acceptance testing". These managers are often not aware of the requirements, and don't know who to contact for assistance in making sure the property complies. SignalBooster.com also provides Annual DAS Re-Inspections and DAS Re-Certifications as Required by Fire Marshal to meet respective City Fire Codes.
To clarify these standards that are now being enforced, we describe the why, what, who and how of DAS/ BDA re-inspection and re-certification.
Why Re-Inspect and Re-Certify?
Failure to comply with the regulations can result in fines and, in severe cases, fire marshals might inform building owners and property managers that a fire department won't respond to specific calls.
An underlying reason for DAS/ BDA reinspection and recertification is to make sure the pre-installed signal enhancement systems continues to operate as mandated year after year. Consequently, in case of emergencies, first responders will have the capability to communicate. This is essential if they are to help people inside a building.
Consider the following example:
Within minutes after the World Trade Center's South Tower collapsed on 9/11, a police helicopter sent a radio message that the 2nd tower was in danger, and recommended that all people in the area of this building be evacuated. Unfortunately, the radio system failed, resulting in police officers and firefighters responding to the attack not hearing the warning. The second tower collapsed 21 minutes later.
If signal boosters don't function properly, it may compromise local public safety radio networks by causing interference.
Besides preventing having to pay noncompliance penalties, these are compelling examples that should encourage building managers to reinspect and recertify BDA/DAS equipment annually to prevent communication failures that could have catastrophic consequences.
What should be Re-Certified?
The purpose of BDS/DAS recertification and reinspection is to make sure that DAS/BDA manufacturer specifications haven't degraded or changed.
The NFPA/ICC requires that all emergency coverage radio systems are inspected annually, and when buildings undergo structural changes or additions that would result in the original field performance tests being materially changed.
Previously, many municipalities did not adhere to the NFPA/ICC requirements, and many interpreted is very loosely, i.e. only requiring recertification and reinspection every 5 years. Local governments are however slowly but surely adhering to NFPA/ICC standards more rigidly. Apart from the requirements already mentioned, municipalities are now also requiring that building owners prove annually that:
- Communication can be supported for up to an hour while the system runs on batteries or backup power.
- Acceptance test procedures are being followed.
Who can Inspect / Reinspect and Certify / Recertify?
SignalBooster.com has been active in the in-building wireless communication field for a number of years and our technical team has a wealth of experience. One of our aims is to supply and install reliable wireless communication systems for emergency responders. We will also maintain existing systems, irrespective of who did the initial installation or the manufacturer.
We provide Initial DAS Inspections and DAS Certifications as required by Fire Marshals to meet respective City Fire Codes.
When BDA/DAS systems need to be re-certified, property owners and building managers might not require a new installation. As municipalities carry on adopting and enforcing the ICC/NFPA regulations, technicians who are able to perform the inspections are needed.
We provide Annual DAS Re-Inspections and DAS Re-Certifications as required by Fire Marshal to meet respective City Fire Codes.
How to obtain Reinspection and Recertification?
Property owners and building managers very seldom have any contact with the original DAS/ BDA manufacturer. They also have no idea who originally installed the equipment if property has changed ownership. The result is that building managers and property owners have no idea who to turn to, in order to get the reinspection and recertification done.
DAS/BDA re-certification fortunately does not have to be performed by the original installer or equipment manufacturer. Any technician that is qualified to maintain FCC and service provider standards with appropriate BDA/ DAS manufacturer certifications can perform ongoing maintenance and monitoring of a system.
During the re-certification process, a coverage test will be conducted to ensure that both the amplifier and the backup battery function properly. The documentation required to demonstrate compliance will then be issued.
Although reinspection and recertification of critical communication systems is vitally important, it does not have to be complicated or unexpected. Have your pre-installed or existing BDA/ DAS signal enhancement system re-inspected, re-certified, and maintained by capable, experienced, and certified technicians. Contact SignalBooster.com today to address any NFPA/ICC emergency responder radio coverage requirements you may have.
Call for FREE consultation:
Or submit completed form for quote to re-inspect and recertify your pre-installed DAS/BDA system, to get started.
P.S.: At bottom in "special instructions" section, do write that you need inspection and recertification of your existing BDA/DAS system.