Implementing Public Safety DAS = Mandatory for occupancy permits

Posted by Aakriti Pandey on Jul 13, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Kaye's copy- DAS WW - Blog post images.png

Getting DAS and any other form of supplementary In Building Wireless (IBW) solutions installed right at the aperture of the construction phase is, in one word, smart. Last week we covered this topic and discussed why implementing DAS at the architectural stage is not only a smart move, but a crucial one in the day and age of 5G and IoT. Similarly, there are also several requirements of the Public Safety DAS, which are mandatory elements to adapt during construction phase.

Firstly, it is important to note that 70% of continuity of 911 calls take place over the cellular network and 64% of those calls made to 911 are indoors (according to That number alone explains why a flawless Public Safety DAS can be life-saving, to say the least!


Whether you’re a general contractor, a building owner, a property manager, or a construction project manager, you’re most likely aware of several jurisdictions that now have the NFP or IFC compliant Public Safety coverage as a mandatory prerequisite to an occupancy permit. But do you know all the minutiae of how the coverage is tested? Are you fully aware of how the Public Safety coverage in your building can be improvized?


Know the kind of Public Safety Coverage required by your local jurisdiction

It goes without saying that all first responders are there to save lives - in one form or another - and must be able to make and maintain the communications. Not only for the obvious parts of the building, but all throughout the property including staircases, basements, terraces, back-rooms, cool-rooms, storage areas, elevators, and all forms of tricky spaces and corners, as well as thick-walled areas.


Note that this is NOT a nicety but a requirement instead. Almost every county in the country has legislated local codes and statutes to make Public Safety IBW coverage mandatory for the first responders. Not only the mere installation, but the quality, reliability, and performance standards of the coverage are also a condition, and it is a full responsibility of the building owners - residential or commercial - to install, test, and monitor the IBW system to the required standards by the code.


Some of the requirements were covered in our past blog which can be found here. Below is the list of three requirements each from NFPA and IFC as a synopsis.


Codes and requirements from NFPA | Coverage Areas
"Critical Areas. Critical areas, such as the fire command center(s), the fire pump room(s), exit stairs, exit passageways, elevator lobbies, standpipe cabinets, sprinkler sectional valve locations, and other areas deemed critical by the authority having jurisdiction, shall be provided with 99 percent floor area radio coverage." |  Signal Strength
Inbound: "A minimum inbound signal strength of −95 dBm, or other signal strength as required by the authority having jurisdiction, shall be provided throughout the coverage area."
Outbound: "A minimum outbound signal strength of −95 dBm at the donor site, or other signal strength as required by the authority having jurisdiction, shall be provided from the coverage area." | Component Enclosures
All repeater, transmitter, receiver, signal booster components, and battery system components shall be contained in a NEMA 4- or 4X- type enclosure(s).

Codes and requirements from IFC

Section 510.01 | Emergency responder radio coverage in new buildings 
All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders  within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building. This section shall not require improvement of the existing public safety communications systems.
Section 510.4.1 | Radio signal strength
The building shall be considered to have acceptable emergency responder radio coverage when signal strength measurements in 95 percent of all areas.
Inside buildings: A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm shall be receivable within the building.
Outside the buildings: A minimum signal strength of -95 dBm shall be received by the agency's radio system when transmitted from within the building.  
Section 510.5.3 | Acceptance test procedure
When an emergency responder radio coverage system is required, and upon completion of installation, the building owner shall have the radio system tested to ensure that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is a minimum of 90 percent.

Topics: Public Safety DAS

How to meet NFPA and IFC Public Safety Building Code