The importance of ERRCS in early construction phases
What is ERRC in construction?
When thinking about constructing a new building, keep in mind that accidents happen every day. Installing an ERRC system in the early stages of construction allows solid communication between first responders and your future occupants when disaster strikes. This blog will discuss the importance of an ERRC system in construction and the requirements it needs.
What is an ERRCS?
An Emergency Responder Radio Communication System, or ERRCS, is an in-building communication system that is used to enhance critical communications inside and outside construction.
An ERRCS is crucial to managing evacuation, improving critical communication, and boosting signal systems so that people and first responders remain safe in times of crisis.
Even though an ERRCS system uses smaller antennas (Distributed Antenna Systems or DAS) that allow first responders to stay in contact with each other using two-way radio signals, it differs from a DAS system.
DAS Systems engineers install ERRCS in your building by joining a Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) system to the donor antenna. The antenna receives signals that operate on private frequencies via first responder networks.
The BDA uses cable or fiber and receives external radio signals to connect to a DAS and amplify the signals of buildings located in areas with poor coverage.
Having an ERRCS in every residential structure is mandated by the NFPA and Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJ). It is based on International Fire Code (IFC), section 510, and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), code 72.
Common ERRCS requirements
When planning to install an ERRC system in your building, there are a couple of requirements you need to be aware of, such as:
It is tricky for big large constructions and building complexes to keep a strong signal strength. Buildings over 50,000 square feet, with 3 or more stories and underground parking require an ERRCS system. Materials like brick, concrete, wood, low e-glass, and metal block inhibit the signal and cause bad reception. DAS Systems strives to provide proper RF mapping to make sure all areas in the building have good coverage and comply with the IFC regulations.
To regulate, preserve, and repair Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensed radiotelephone transmitters, you need special training and an FCC General Radiotelephone Operator License (GROL), which DAS Systems engineers have.
In case of an emergency, building tenants need to stay safe and vacate the premises quickly and carefully. Installing Signal boosters or DAS in vulnerable areas of your construction ensures that all radio frequencies first responders need remain amplified in your building.
It’s pivotal for constructions to have the standard signal strength used in critical communication, which is a 95% majority of minimum signal strength of -95dBm. In case the standard ERRC signal strength isn’t reached, buildings need to install a DAS or a signal booster to be up-to-code.
Public safety compliance revolves around ERRC testing and re-certification. DAS system offers annual testing and maintenance of your ERRCS system and ensures that your building is always up to standard. We work closely with you and alongside public authorities to design bespoke ERRCS systems and get you a Certificate of Occupancy, guaranteeing to satisfy all your building safety needs.
Having battery backups is crucial in case any power outages happen in the building. Sometimes during an emergency, the power of the building needs to be cut for the occupants’ safety; that’s why having a reliable battery backup to keep the ERRC system running is a matter of life and death.
How to know if my construction complies with local public safety building codes?
When in doubt about whether or not your construction meets safety requirements, it’s good to run a test. Working with DAS Systems provides you with an ERRC testing that evaluates the signal strength in all the areas of your building and establishes which ones require signal augmentation. Furthermore, we verify every requirement of the IFC and NFPA codes and recommend improvements.
When planning on starting a construction project, it’s always wise to involve a provider like DAS early in the construction design phase. This way ensures that the building’s layout includes an ERRCS that helps limit casualties and keep people safe. But worry not; our team of DAS experts can also retrofit an ERRC system to existing buildings.
Before designing an ERRCS system, our team employs predictive mapping and modeling to make sure that the entire area has access to top-notch coverage. Reach out to us for all your ERRC DAS needs to ensure that people in your building will get out unscathed the next time an emergency occurs.