When emergency responders arrive on a scene, they have to manage a lot of danger and execute a plan that protects the people in the building as well as themselves. A critical component of maintaining safety and keeping all personnel appraised of the situation as it unfolds is communication. To keep communication open, some buildings need to be outfitted with a Bi-Directional Amplification (BDA) system.
When is it Necessary?
Current codes require a minimum signal strength of -95db for incoming and outgoing signals. The reason for this code is to ensure that the two-way radios used by emergency responders will always be operable and won’t be at risk of losing their signal. If they are unable to communicate with each other, it puts both the emergency personnel and anyone in the building at risk. There are several reasons why a building might need to have a BDA system installed, such as:
- Low-E Glass Windows
- Underground Areas
- Radio Frequency Interference
- Building Materials
Many jurisdictions are making BDA systems a requirement for all new construction and, in some cases, are requiring retrofitting of older buildings that don’t meet the code requirements.
How Does it Work?
BDA systems used by public safety personnel work by boosting radio frequency signals. They improve reception for radio networks that are on 700MHz, 800MHz, and 900 MHz bands, in particular. This makes it possible for emergency responders to communicate between those inside the building and those waiting outside the building.
There are also BDA systems that boost cellular service to mitigate dead zones, but these aren’t typically used by emergency responders. These are used to make it possible to use cellular phones inside a building that doesn’t have reliable service without the BDA system.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting
people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.