Emergency Responder Radio SystemsChip Chapman, RCDD

LearningObjectives1. Understand the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), and OhioFire Code (OFC) requirements for in-building communications coverage.2. Identify the major differences between a distributed antenna system(DAS) for public safety versus cellular service.3. Learn how radio frequency testing is conducted for ERRS, whatstandards must be met for installation of a corrective system4. Describe best-practice specifications for a ERRS, including the cabling,RF design, power, and pathway survivability.5. What opportunities may be available to your company in your area.

Houston Firefighter Mayday

Basic Design:

ERRS Codes and Standards Ohio Building Code - 915 Ohio Fire Code & IFC Code – 510 NFPA 72 City of Columbus Communications Guidelines Fire Prevention Bureau Guidelines

Ohio Building Code Section 915915.1 General. Emergency responder radio coverageshall be provided in all new buildings in accordancewith Section 510 of the fire code.

Ohio Fire Code Section 510 510.1 - All buildings shall have approved radiocoverage for emergency responders within the building This paragraph shall not require improvement of theexisting public safety communication systems. Exceptions: 1. Where approved by the building official and the fire codeofficial, a wired communication system shall be permitted to beinstalled or maintained in lieu of an approved radio coveragesystem. 2. Where it is determined by the fire code official that the radiocoverage system is not needed.

Ohio Fire Code Section 510 510.2 The building shall be considered to haveacceptable emergency responder radio coveragewhen signal strength measurements in 95% of allareas of each floor of the building meet the signalstrength requirements 510.2.1 A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm 510.2.2 A minimum signal strength of -100 dBm shallbe received by the agency's radio system whentransmitted from within the building.

NFPA 72 Chapter 24 Approval and Permit. Plans shall be submitted for approvalprior to installation. At the conclusion of successfulacceptance testing a renewable permitshall be issued for the public safetyradio enhancement system whererequired by the authority havingjurisdiction.

NFPA 72 Chapter 24 General Building Areas. General building areas shall be provided with 90percent floor area radio coverage. Amplification Components. Buildings and structures that cannot support therequired level of radio coverage shall be equippedwith a radiating cable system or a distributedantenna system (DAS) with FCC-certified signalboosters, or both, in order to achieve the requiredadequate radio coverage.

NFPA 72 Chapter 24 Signal Strength. Inbound. A minimum inbound signal strength of 95dBm, or other signal strength as required bythe authority having jurisdiction, shall beprovided throughout the coverage area. Outbound. A minimum outbound signal strength of 95dBm at the donor site, or other signalstrength as required by the authority havingjurisdiction, shall be provided from thecoverage area.

NFPA 72 Chapter 24 Pathway Survivability Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. The feeder and riser coaxial cables shall be ratedas plenum cables.* Riser coaxial cables shall berated as riser cables and routed through a 2hour-rated enclosure. The connection between theriser and feeder coaxial cables shall be madewithin the 2-hour-rated enclosure, andpassage of the feeder cable in and out of the2-hour-rated enclosure shall be firestoppedto 2-hour ratings.

NFPA 72 Chapter 24 Signal Booster Components. FCC certification prior to installation. Compatible with both analog and digital communicationssimultaneously at the time of installation. Section of NFPA 72 also requires theradio system components to be protected by a 2-hourrated enclosure, a 2-hour rated room or equivalent asapproved by the code official. Exception: A 1-hour rated room in existing buildingsequipped throughout with an approved automaticsprinkler system is considered equivalent protection.

Basic Design:


RF Signal Blockers: Low-E glassMetal wall structureConcreteOther buildings

RF Testing:

ERRSDead Spots:

Courthouse Challenge:

Downtown Density:

Suburban Sightline:

Suburban Sightline:

Case Study: First and Main

Case Study: CCL Label

Case Study: Buggyworks

W4 N Stairwell

Office Level 1Office Level 2Office Level 3Office Level 4Garage Level 1Garage Level 2Garage Level -88-102-80-78-105-90-80represents an average reading of -96db or worse signal strength

Case Study: National Veterans Memorial

Case Study: National Veterans Memorial

Case Study: National Veterans Memorial

Case Study: National Veterans Memorial

Case Study: National Veterans Memorial

Keep In Mind:Every situation is unique: Proximity and sightline to tower Size and location of facility Construction (Windows, Walls, Roof & Skin) Budget upfront Can’t test until core/shell complete Local AHJ has final say

Houston Firefighter Mayday. Basic Design: Ohio Building Code - 915 Ohio Fire Code & IFC Code – 510 NFPA 72 City of Columbus Communications Guidelines Fire Prevention Bureau Guidelines ERRS Codes and Standards. Ohio Building Code Section 915 915.1 General. Emergency