Public Safety Code Compliance for New Construction: What’s the Big Deal?

According to the Safer Buildings Coalition, there are over 6.2 million commercial buildings in the U.S. Now, think about how many people are occupying those buildings, and in the event of an emergency situation, how would first responders communicate with each other to safely evacuate those occupants?

The Problem With Large Distribution Centers and Warehouses

Distribution centers and warehouses are a necessity for many corporations. These corporations employ thousands of workers in order to keep their supply chains running. One thing that should never be ignored in these buildings is the safety of the people in them.

When it comes to safety, you might think of your typical safety protocols in a warehouse: forklift operation, chemical storage, and evacuation plans. But what about the communication infrastructure of these buildings? Is there service available for people to make phone calls or talk on two-way radios?

There’s a variety of building materials such as concrete, metal, and low-e glass used in new construction projects that interfere with radio frequencies (RF) for first responders. In fact, The National Fire Protection Association® (NFPA) and International Fire Code® (IFC) have codes in place to ensure first responder radios work in all parts of a building.

Most states have adopted these codes and the local county Fire Marshal or Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) enforce them. Building owners and contractors who do not meet the public safety code run the risk of delaying both the project and Certificate of Occupancy (CO).

The 3 Pillars of In-Building Public Safety Communications

According to the Safer Buildings Coalition, there are three pillars of in-building public safety communication that must be followed:

  1. Mobile 911 calls and texts must get out with location accuracy
  2. Mass notifications via mobile device must be able to reach occupants that are inside of the building
  3. First responders’ communication devices must work at any given place inside of the building

Experts in Code Compliance and System Designs

Advanced Wireless Communications specializes in NFPA and IFC Code compliance to ensure radio signals work for first responders while inside of new and existing buildings. AWC coordinates with AHJ’s (Authority Having Jurisdiction) across the country to identify which code applies and if there are variances to the Code.

If it’s determined a system is required, AWC will design, furnish, install, optimize, commission, and test the system all according to Code. Upon completion, AWC will obtain the necessary approvals from the AHJ prior to a CO being issued.

Why it’s Best to Plan Ahead

Building owners and contractors are encouraged to plan early. Installing a system to meet code can be costly after walls and ceilings are intact. With a set of floor plans, Advanced Wireless Communications provides a Rough Order of Magnitude (ROM) to help in the budgetary process.

Advanced Wireless Communications has over 25 years of serving the unique needs of distribution centers and supply chain companies, and is a proud member of the Safer Buildings Coalition. Our radios and radio systems are used by some of the largest logistics companies in the U.S. To learn more about how AWC can help, click here or contact us.

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