DAS/In Building Coverage Code

Clear Line Engineering > DAS/In Building Coverage Code

DAS/In Building code requirements and how states are adopting these standards

A Distributed Antenna system, (DAS), or Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems (ERRCS) refer to any system that enhances radio communications in a building where it is installed.  Many building materials such as concrete, steel or below grade areas can weaken or cause radio frequencies to be blocked entirely making it a vulnerable area for first responders in an emergency.  In Building coverage commonly referred to as DAS can address this problem by broadcasting the outside signal and amplifying it throughout the building inside.  These systems are listed as part of the IFC and NFPA codes but recently states have started taking notice and are adopting these standards through out their state code and local jurisdictions.

Washington state is one of the most recent to adopt the International Fire Code, 2018 edition as the standard for the whole state.  Most of the Seattle region has already been implementing these safety standards through PSERN (Puget Sound Emergency Radio Network) but with the new WAC 51-54A-0510 and RCW 19.27.031 requirements fire marshals and AHJ’s will need to take notice and start implementing these fire code standards during their inspections throughout the state.  Most areas in Washington have not had to worry about these requirements but the recent testing we have been doing in Eastern Washington shows that buildings are vulnerable and have inadequate coverage.  The principal fire code applicable to Emergency Responder Radio Coverage is the International Fire Code section 510.  There are various additional applicable sections as well as reference standards and each jurisdiction may modify the code so long as it is at least as stringent as the state code.   Most states have been utilizing the code in this way but as cities and urban areas are growing the need for In-Building Coverage is becoming more of a necessity.

Other States are adding to their standards when it comes to Emergency Responder Radio Coverage Systems

California is another state that just recently updated their fire code section 510 stating that as of January 1, 2021, all buildings in new school and community college districts need to have Emergency Responder Radio Coverage (ERRC).  This would require all buildings to be able to show that each building subject to these standards will have adequate radio coverage to gain occupancy.  Each building would require a site signal test to determine the strength in the building and if it can not pass than those locations would need a DAS/ERRCS to enhance that signal.

Just like fire alarms and sprinkler systems public safety Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) must be maintained in working order and periodically inspected.  Clearline Engineering specializes in Emergency Responder Radio Coverage system inspections and we also offer comprehensive annual testing for any in building coverage system.  We have made it a mission to understand the requirements and work closely with state code and Authority Having Jurisdictions (AHJ) to understand the ever changing DAS/ERRCS code environment.

Are you wondering if your area is mandating Emergency Responder Radio Coverage systems or is subject to these standards?

Let Clearline Engineering and our DAS professionals help you interpret the code and recommend the right path forward for you.