If you are working on a new construction, it’s essential for your designer to factor in ERCES codes. However, if you have concerns about the construction or are in an older building, you need to know for sure if there is adequate signal throughout the building or if you need to invest in a BDA system.
International Building Code (IBC) 2015 Section 916 and the International Fire Code (IFC) 2018 Section 510, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 2010, NFPA 1221 2016, and Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 2524, require all new buildings to be certified through a signal strength survey for radio coverage for emergency responders within the building and must meet a minimum signal strength level (-95 dBm) for Fire, Police, and EMS radio signal. Contingent upon agreement, Strat Security Systems will provide all these services.
Factors that affect antenna signal from reaching the entire building include:
- Concrete or metal construction
- Large buildings (generally 25,000 square feet or larger or buildings with multiple floors)
- Underground spaces, including basements and parking garages
- Low-E glass in the windows
For North Carolina, pursuant to Section 510 of the 2018 N.C. Fire Prevention Code, all new construction must now undergo a final signal strength study for Emergency Responder Radio Coverage.
If any floor fails meeting the minimum threshold for signal level, the building shall have an ERCES (BDA) system provided by Strat Security Systems installed. These systems are required to be reinspected annually, or if major renovations are done to the building.