Is Your Building NFPA Compliant?
The NFPA is a nonprofit organization established in 1896, offering an essential set of codes and standards for fire protection, electrical, and life safety in the workplace.
According to their website, “the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) provides a wide array of resources for public fire service professionals and private citizens alike…Our mission is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.”
But before diving into it all, we must answer some basic questions.
What is an ERRCS?
Emergency Responder Radio Communications Systems (ERRCS) provide a reliable, secure and interoperable solution for first responders. They allow communication between police departments, fire departments, EMS units, and other emergency response agencies.
In addition to these benefits, ERRCS can be used to dispatch all types of emergencies at any time.
ERRCS are designed to be easy to use and maintain, they provide a reliable solution for emergency responders. These systems can be used in any emergency, such as natural disasters, fires, or other emergencies.
The NFPA requires that “Buildings and structures that cannot support the required level of radio coverage shall be equipped with a radiating cable system or a distributed antenna system (DAS) with FCC-certified signal boosters, or both, or with a system that is otherwise approved, to achieve the required adequate radio coverage.”
There are several factors that can affect the communications standards in-building for first responders, such as:
- Signal Strength
- System Radio Frequencies
- Frequency Changes
- Critical Areas
- Radio Coverage
Another main component of NFPA 72 Section 24.5.2 is non-interference.
In other words, “no amplification system capable of operating on frequencies or causing interference on frequencies assigned to the jurisdiction by the FCC shall be installed without prior coordination and approval of the authority having jurisdiction,” according to the NFPA. “The building manager/owner shall suspend and correct other equipment installations that degrade the performance of the public safety radio or public safety radio enhancement system.”
What is an NFPA Certification?
NFPA certification is a requirement for many public safety organizations, structures, and buildings. The NFPA guides the design and construction of emergency response radio communication systems (ERRCS).
These gold public safety standards are developed by the consensus of experts in the field and are voluntary, but they are widely used throughout the industry.
In most cases, compliance with NFPA standards is voluntary. However, in some cases, federal or state Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) agencies have incorporated wording from NFPA standards into regulations. In these cases, complying with the standards is mandatory.
The importance of an NFPA Gold Standard
Committees of experts develop NFPA standards, updated regularly by fire marshals and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJs). NFPA standards have become a standard for the industry to create, design, test, and maintain emergency response vehicles to be used safely in the field.
The certification has many different standards that guide how organizations and structures should operate. The purpose behind these guidelines is to put: safety first!
The Added Value of an NFPA
The National Fire Protection Association is the leading authority on fire safety. With more than 120 years of experience, NFPA has developed a wide range of training and certification programs that help you meet your goals.
As an independent, nonprofit organization, NFPA offers free resources to help you understand the codes you must comply with. Contact us today if you want to learn more about how this code can benefit your business and make it safer for employees and customers alike!
Building Partnerships with Providers
These certifications and standards might seem somewhat intimidating to contractors, building managers, or owners, especially if they want to bolster their public safety capabilities.
This emphasizes having a solid relationship with a DAS/ERRCS provider with strong relationships with fire marshals and AHJs, which streamline the entire process.
Not only would you be leveraging their skills, know-how, and knowledge in the field, but also tap into their network to remain as compliant as possible while meeting client expectations.
If you want to make your building or structure NFPA-compliant, contact us for a consultation!