Over 25 years ago a group of radio heads on the West Coast started discussing the need for “in-building” signal augmentation for first responder radio systems. This culminated into some of the first public safety radio ordinances in the United States. The oldest known ordinance was written by Dr. Richter in 1991 for the City of Burbank CA. In 2009, DAS systems appeared in NFPA 72, and so it goes.
When it comes to first responder “in-building” DAS or ERRCS solutions, are AHJ and Fire code officials worried about the right stuff? Their focus is code specific and does not necessarily guarantee a properly functioning solution.
So, what is the problem? AHJs and Code authorities are not coordinating with qualified RF engineers when writing code requirements. The NFPA , IFC and local codes simply do not address the most crucial factor involved in DAS design, good RF system design leaving installers and inspectors working to resolve performance issues in the field.
Today’s high gain signal boosters available today often cause interference to the radio systems they support for as much as eight miles or more. So, while we add new requirements for survivability, redundancy, coverage, etc., don’t not forget the most important aspect of these systems, a system design that ensures Beyond the Code performance.