Changes to the Florida Fire Prevention Code will be enforced in less than a year.
In 2016, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) produced some changes to Florida’s fire codes. Many building owners, facility managers, and construction professionals search for answers to how these changes may impact their properties and projects. One law, in particular, has the most widespread effect on Florida buildings – FS 633.202. (18).
The text of the law can be viewed here: FS 633.202 (18) Florida Fire Prevention Code:
In short, as of January 1, 2022, many buildings will require a two-way radio communication enhancement/signal booster system. This system, known as a public safety DAS, is integrated into a facility to enhance radio frequency bands used by first responders and safety professionals. This law aims to reduce communication loss between emergency crews during crises (i.e., fires). With less than a year to make these changes, building owners and operators must act soon to comply with the state’s code.
In a society where wireless devices outnumber people, the demand for constant wireless coverage has never been higher. Unfortunately, the structural materials in most buildings block and absorb Radio Frequency (RF) signals, presenting complex challenges to the ever-increasing demand for coverage. A distributed antenna system (DAS) is a communication system connected to a common signal source that provides wireless service within a geographic area or structure. A DAS incorporates a network of antennas and amplifiers and uses them to boost radio signals and rebroadcast them through the entire building. This system dispenses enhanced coverage to a wide array of mobile devices in areas of a building where signals are often weak or unavailable (i.e., parking garages and stairwells). When designed and installed by experienced professionals, a DAS will grant universal cell carrier and wireless access for indoor and outdoor applications. This flexible solution serves as a backbone for robust and uninterrupted wireless communication, enabling cellular connectivity and public safety.
Crucial for Public Safety
Most people can relate to the frustration felt when dealing with weak cellular or WIFI signals in a public or commercial facility. While this scenario is an inconvenience for the average person, it presents dangerous and potentially fatal communications interruptions for first responders in the event of an emergency; 2-way radiofrequency is critical for life-saving communications during an incident. Whether in the event of a fire, tornado, or workplace violence, stable radio channels between emergency personnel aren’t optional. Communication is essential to the job function of police officers, firefighters, and the like. A DAS ensures that those tasked with saving lives can perform their duties effectively while increasing their safety. In this regard, a DAS is on par with a properly functioning sprinkler, smoke detection, and security system. Additionally, security staff can use the wireless access from a DAS system to review floor plans and building occupancy to help coordinate rescue strategies and appropriate action.
Additional Benefits of DAS
Apart from meeting legal obligations, a DAS from Miller Electric is also good for business. Robust and continuous signal and cellular reception provide the convenience and utility that occupants have come to expect. Below are listed some of the benefits building owners and operators can come to expect:
Does Your Building Require a DAS?
To establish whether your building needs a DAS, you need experienced professionals familiar with Florida state requirements to perform the required testing and determine your building’s needs. From there, they can engineer and install a system that ensures public safety and legal compliance. We aim to be your trusted solutions provider. Whether new construction or a retrofit effort, we have what it takes to bring your organization quality service and the resulting peace of mind.