When signal strength in a building is insufficient, broadcasting an alarm to emergency services may take more time than necessary. In fact, the signal may not be strong enough to connect at all. Firefighters and police officers increasingly encounter this problem. While responding to incidents at large apartment complexes and high rise buildings, they are unable to communicate within or outside these structures, due to the way they were constructed. This issue places the residents of large apartment complexes, business offices headquartered in high-rise structures, and others who frequent these buildings at risk if emergencies occur. With this knowledge, the state of Florida is now advancing the security standards for its civilians, enforcing new building codes which will ensure that emergency response teams are able to perform necessary operations in the event of a crisis.
A new statute has been introduced in the state of Florida, requiring stronger radio signal strengths for emergency communication systems. The implementation means all existing or future high-rise and apartment buildings will need to comply with requirements set by the new Florida Fire Prevention Code. The improvements are focused around bi-directional amplifier – or BDA – systems, also known as Dual Antenna Systems. These systems reduce areas of poor signal strength that hinder the effectiveness of communicating with emergency services.
New and existing high-rise buildings must have a survey to test their Radio Frequency Signal Strength completed no later than December 31, 2019. If an existing high-rise building is found to have coverage that is not compliant with the new codes, a brand-new BDA system that meets the standard must be installed by January 1, 2022. For apartment or condo buildings, the requirement dates are December 31, 2022 to apply for a permit and January 1, 2025 to have the system installed.
There is a sense of urgency regarding these building codes that must not be taken lightly. With safety being a top priority for both business owners and residents alike, this new standard is a welcome asset.
If you have inquiries regarding Florida’s security requirement statute, contact Millennium Fire and Security today.