RELIABLE, IN-BUILDING COVERAGE IS IMPORTANT FOR EMPLOYEES AND GUESTS, BUT IS EVEN MORE CRITICAL DURING TIMES OF EMERGENCY FOR FIRST RESPONDERS.
In order to ensure coverage for emergency personnel, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) established codes and standards for Emergency Communications Systems. While adherence to specific NFPA requirements varies based on jurisdiction, they can be a great resource when you are designing a new network or upgrading an existing system. In designing a network solution, areas that are most frequently used are typically paid the most attention. During an emergency, personnel often find themselves in less-used areas, such as stairwells or basements, and in need of communications. The NFPA guidelines require 99 percent coverage in areas identified as critical by local fire departments, and 90 percent coverage in general use areas. That means, while a design will obviously ensure coverage in the lobby or offices, it is important to identify areas in the basement, elevators, parking structures and stairwells that are not well served.
Determining the right equipment and designing for total coverage is only the beginning. In the event of a disaster, the equipment must be capable of withstanding adverse conditions. This is especially important in the event of a fire, when the equipment may be inundated with water. The NFPA requires that all equipment serving a network should be housed in NEMA 4 compliant, water- and weather-proof enclosures. Testing of these enclosures is rigorous and will ensure your equipment is protected from water pressure of least 65 gallons per minute from a distance of less than 10 feet. Implementing these safeguards initially will not only keep your network in line with the best practices for safety, it will prevent costly damage to your equipment. By looking ahead in your design and future-proofing your DAS, you will be ready to adapt and advance with the latest technology. A reliable network can do more than provide connectivity in public spaces for employees and guests. A well-designed Public Safety DAS network can protect your building and provide the peace of mind that comes with preparation.
*Reprinted with permission