Building owners have myriad ways to express themselves through their property – from basic amenities to decor – and have responsibilities that help them establish their brand. However, certain aspects of commercial property aren’t up for compromise, and public safety is one of them. Buildings may be built to withstand emergencies like fires or storms, but maintaining communication is crucial for first responders.
Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS) is a system that allows first responders to maintain communication with each other within buildings during emergencies. Public Safety DAS is mandatory for all commercial properties to ensure the safety of its occupants and first responders. If you don’t know how they differ from conventional communication practices or are unsure if you need them, read on to learn more about Public Safety DAS.
What is a Public Safety DAS?
A Public Safety DAS is an efficient way to provide communication channels everywhere on the property – from the perimeter of the building to the basement and top floors. These systems utilize bidirectional amplifiers to establish wireless communication within buildings. With access to radio signals across the areas of the building, such as elevators, basements, parking, and stairwells, first responders are better equipped to handle rescue operations.
Since most structures use e-glass and concrete, it is easier to maintain radio transmission with signal amplifiers or similar equipment. Therefore, every owner must have their buildings assessed to determine signal coverage and have a DAS installed in compliance with regulations. Furthermore, DAS allows building occupants (who mainly rely on cell phones for communication) to enjoy better wireless reception on the premises.
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Code Council (ICC) have issued codes for Public Safety DAS, including National Fire Code, the National Electrical Code, the International Building code, and the International Fire Code. All public safety communication systems are based on these model codes. Your county adheres to one or more of these groups for its public safety communication systems.
Why is Public Safety DAS Important?
Incidents like the September 11 attacks provoked many counties in the United States to implement ordinances that require property owners to meet a minimum standard for all public safety communication systems. Several municipalities have mandated compliance with newly adopted standards to allow better communication between police, fire department, and other first responders. Building owners must ensure that their properties meet all the required standards and have them certified by a Public Safety DAS professional.
Do I Need DAS for My Building?
Not every building requires DAS to improve wireless connectivity. If the signal strength is weak in certain areas of your building, a repeater DAS is not going to solve that problem. If you live in a remote area, an active DAS should help boost your signal enough to meet the minimum standards set by your local municipality. Similarly, if you are dealing with high traffic, a repeater DAS is unlikely to resolve the issue. An active DAS is typically the best option for large buildings with multiple dead zones.
Installing Public Safety DAS Systems with the Help of an Expert Team
If you want to learn more about Public Safety DAS and how to prepare your building for emergencies, Highland Wireless can help. We can help you understand safety codes and regulations mandated by local authorities so you can rest easy knowing experts are helping you find the right solution. Depending on what you may benefit from, we will help you pick out either a distributed antenna system or small cells to boost your signal coverage. Contact us today to get started!