So, you have been asked by the authority having jurisdiction to test for a BDA/DAS system. What is this system and what does it do?
The acronyms are listed here:
BDA: Bi-directional antenna system
DAS: Distributed antenna system
ERRC: Emergency responders radio communication system
All of the above systems are basically the same as far as what they are intended to do. That is to amplify first responders radio frequency from the outside source and distribute it throughout the building. After the tragedy on September 11th this became a crucial issue for first responders. During the events that day, first responders inside the World Trade center couldn’t communicate with ground units or the command center leaving them very vulnerable to lurking dangers. Since then, more and more jurisdictions have adopted the code requiring that certain size buildings be tested for acceptable signal strength readings throughout the building.
Also, these systems can be designed and installed for other communication issues. They can be designed to amplify cellular phone service frequencies as well. Verizon, T-mobile, and AT&T all can be setup to improve signal strength throughout your facility.
Hulsey Systems is certified and licensed to provide these services for you or your customer. Generally, we would do an onsite test, preferably when the building is 80% complete, to determine if there are any areas in the building that doesn’t have sufficient signal strength for first responders. At this point, we design and quote the components needed to meet the parameters of the national and local codes. At completion of the installation our team will test the facility again to assure that it meets the requirements needed. A complete report will be handed over to the local authorities for approval.
Do all jurisdictions require this type of system?
No, ask your local AHJ if they are requiring your building to be tested.
After testing , what happens next?
If the building achieves sufficient signal strength, our report will be turned over to the local AHJ and nothing further is needed. If signal strength is an issue, we will provide an estimate to you to get the building to code.