Why Can In-Building Radio Signal Impact Certificate of Occupancy?

Why Can In-Building Radio Signal Impact Certificate of Occupancy?

Most jurisdictions in Florida now require reliable in-building radio frequency signals as part of their standard building code requirements. A Certificate of Occupancy must be obtained through your local government, although this important piece of documentation will not be issued unless a property meets all inspection requirements. All fines attached to the property must also be paid before a Certificate of Occupancy can be issued.   

There are many different inspection requirements a building must meet, and many of these requirements vary based on location. In-building radio signal is one of these requirements showing up more frequently in local jurisdictions.

Over the last 5-10 years, new standards for in-building systems have been adopted by the National Fire Association (NFPA), as well as the International Fire Code (IFC). These standards are now being picked up and enforced by local Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJ).

History proves the importance of receiving a solid signal inside a building. After all, a lot of this change happened as a result of 9/11 when First Responders inside of the towers were unable to communicate with First Responders outside of the building. With firefighters unable to communicate properly, a lot of things went wrong. As a result, there has been a growing demand for Emergency Responder and Public Safety DAS. 

At Highland Wireless, we specialize in DAS (distributed antenna systems), from design to engineering. By working with highly experienced iBwave certified engineers, we create effective and efficient systems that meet all Fire Department standards. We work with both Public Safety DAS and Small Cell Systems.

What Causes Poor In-building Signal Strength? 

It is not uncommon for large urban buildings to receive poor to no signal strength. That’s because the latest building standards call for thick layers of dense materials like concrete and metal, and this makes it difficult for signals to get through.

Plus, densely populated areas are overwhelmed with signals bouncing here and there, which can also interfere. If an emergency occurs, First Responders must be able to communicate from inside of the building – no matter what floor they are on. Without a reliable in-building radio signal, this is next to impossible.

So, how do you get over this hurdle and ensure even the biggest and most densely packed buildings get reliable radio signals on all floors? The answer is through the installation of an in-building radio enhancement system, such as DAS.

What is DAS?

DAS stands for distributed antenna system, which is a system put into place to improve communication and signal strength throughout an entire building. The system includes a network of antenna nodes that work together and are all connected to a main transport medium. This medium is typically placed at the highest point of the building, such as on the roof. Systems are carefully designed by a team of engineers to produce the best results possible.

Installing an effective DAS will take away the risk that First Responders cannot communicate in an emergency. Thus, it has the potential to save lives. Not to mention, it is quickly becoming a standard requirement to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.

Highland Wireless Makes It Easy to Comply with In-building Signal Strength Regulations

Each AHJ in Florida operates on unique frequencies, from VHF to UHF and everything in between. Therefore, it’s important to have local knowledge about the frequencies utilized in each jurisdiction as there are different solutions based on frequency range and local AHJ code compliance. Not only are we up to date on all of this, but in addition, we offer free pre-testing of signal strength as well as site surveys.

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