ERRCS and Carrier DAS for the Hospitality Industry
Over the last few years, hospitality IT personnel have been focused on optimizing their hotel communication systems, with the ever-growing ERRCS system requirements. A number of these code requirements affect the construction, design and engineering teams, however, there are a few that are classified as “low voltage systems” and require integration with hotel applications and systems. Industry IT professionals must address these new requirements as part of their current roles and responsibilities in order to show compliance. These professionals must ensure to familiarize themselves with the codes, as there may be underlying impacts on hospitality applications during emergencies — when they need them most. With the current assertion that wireless carrier DAS is a luxury, which consequently renders any cellular phone useless during emergencies, as phones may not dial out — ironically, this does not coincide with basic principles of safety, used to codify fire codes.
Employee & Communications Life Safety Requirements:
- Emergency Responder Radio Communications Systems (ERRCS)
- Area of Refuge (AOR) Two-way Communication System
This Public Safety system or First Responder DAS (Distributed Antenna System), is mandated in building requirements for countless municipalities. The network retransmits fire or police radio frequencies from outside the hotel (where the signal is presumably stronger) into the building, where it’s usually weaker or nonexistent. While ERRCS is referenced in the new International Building Codes (IBC) standards, the requirements are mandated and usually fall under the local authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) or fire marshal. These systems have strict requirements and must be well thought out and engineered ahead of development. The design process for engineering these systems can take time, as they typically involve predictive modeling and in-building testing, of which DAS Systems is well equipped to manage.
Moreover, these requirements aren’t limited to new construction, as they also apply to hotel refurbishments. Design and construction teams working on renovation projects often believe their hotels are grandfathered into previous construction codes and not affected by new requirements. However, this is far from the truth — as it isn’t always the case. Therefore, developers should verify that new code requirements won’t impact their projects. It can be expensive and difficult to retrofit later and could impact a redesigned hotel opening. ITs must ensure their wheelhouse of industry knowledge includes low voltage communication concerns and requirements. While many organizations focus solely on data security and privacy concerns, it’s important to keep an eye on these mandates to ensure you’re meeting all safety and compliance needs.
As illustrated above, cellular DAS can help first responders ensure the safety of building tenants during emergencies, even though it is subjectively considered an ancillary tool. Click here to contact us and learn more about how DAS Systems can help your organization integrate an effective and cost-effective ERRCS system.