Public Safety Blog Series: The Requirements of In-building Public Safety Coverage Today

August 27, 2015
Past occurrences where emergency personnel have lost access to vital communications have prompted local governments to put in laws and ordinances to prevent these incidents. Emergency personnel need to communicate to each other through a two-way radio which operates on specific public safety frequencies. Ensuring that they have access to reliable connections at all times, within the entire facility, is fundamental for them to take the next steps for providing public safety.

For in-building public safety, reliable coverage is required at all times. Access to secure and reliable coverage is necessary on every floor and room, and from thick walls to underground corners. Emergency personnel rely on having seamless connectivity available at all times. That’s where an all-digital Distributed Antenna System, DAS, comes to the rescue.

With its end-to-end digital signal processing and software configurability, this approach allows greater reach without signal degradation. It also allows government and enterprises to easily adapt to changing requirements, including FirstNet, P25 Phase I and II, narrowband and broadband public safety.

In addition, when emergency situations take place, equipment could also be at risk. Ensuring that there is redundancy, or a back-up method so that communications are always open, even in the event that equipment or the fiber path becomes damaged is very important. Protecting not only the equipment, but also what is being communicated between emergency personnel is also necessary. Scrambling data and segregating it from control and management traffic will provide maximum security.

Both IFC (International Fire Code) and NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) require some level of alarms be in place. NFPA have specific requirements for necessary coverage, while NEMA-4 Enclosures are needed for equipment in the event that it becomes damaged from water in the case of a fire or flood. These enclosures are water-tight and weatherproof and are necessary for the equipment that support the public safety network.

A system that supports not only just the current, but future requirements is desirable. The current frequencies used by public safety emergency personnel are 150, 450 700 800 and 900 MHz. With regulatory bodies and government ordinances continuing to implement new standards and requirements, having a digital DAS system that can evolve alongside is not only pertinent, but it is also cost effective. By ensuring you have the best public safety system implemented, emergency personnel will be able to handle vital tasks in a seamless manner – thus providing individuals and the crew on-site the best chance for staying safe.

Stay tune for next week’s public safety blog as we discuss the impact of LTE for an in-building public safety DAS. Share any comments or questions by tweeting us @DaliWireless. To read our past blog entries, click here.

For a more in-depth discussion, please register for our upcoming webinar on Public Safety Coverage Today & Impact of LTE, taking place on September 24th, 2015.

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