March 19, 2016

During the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington, DC, first responders experienced life-threatening failures in their emergency communications systems inside the World Trade Center towers. In the years following, many states revised their building and fire codes to ensure adequate radio coverage within commercial buildings during fires and other emergencies.

If you’re not sure you’re in compliance, our team can conduct an Emergency Responder Communication Test, and provide whatever upgrades or modifications are necessary based on the results.

Compliance with new regulations ensures that firefighters, police, EMTs and other first responders will be able to communicate over their radios in commercial buildings during an emergency. Clear communication protects the lives and health of first responders and, in turn, enables them to provide more effective response and coordination of emergency services to building occupants.

Revisions to building and fire codes include new requirements to ensure adequate signal coverage for in-building communications for first responders. Buildings must meet minimum signal strength standards for in-building emergency communications for both existing and newly-constructed buildings.

Compliance pressure is expected to increase as these new regulations become more widely recognized among local building inspection and fire departments. Emergency communication compliance inspections may be conducted by building inspectors:

  • during building code inspections for new construction;
  • during building code inspections for a renovation process; or
  • during regular building safety inspections by fire marshals.

Fire marshals and building inspectors are increasingly likely to incorporate these new emergency communications requirements into their regular inspection procedures. When this occurs, it is the building owner’s responsibility to test signal strength in their building and, if necessary, install signal boosting equipment to remedy any signal loss occurring inside the  building.

Our team can work with you during new construction, commercial renovation, and building service projects to make sure your facility is in compliance with new state emergency communications requirements.

Our certified radio frequency professionals will conduct a communications signal strength test at your facility and, if signal gaps are discovered, the next step will be to install antennas or signal booster devices, to put your facility in compliance with these regulations.

During emergencies, fire, police, and emergency service personnel put their lives on the line for your building occupants.

So, no matter when this is brought to your attention, meeting these first responder communication requirements—to make sure that first responders can communicate with each other if a fire or emergency occurs in your building—is just the right thing to do.

To learn about additional facility-related services available from FM360, please review these resources.

Schedule Facility Assessment 866.720.2700

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