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who needs an auxiliary radio communication system in nyc

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Considering the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72) and the aftermath of WTC 09/11 events all public safety agencies (FDNY / EMS / USSC/ NYPD/ PAPD / MTA / NYNJ Transit …) understood that there is a need for a real and robust technology that will support the first responders inside any High Rise stand-alone or Campus-wide, buildings complex 2-way radio communications.

 

As of December 31, 2014, the New York City Building Code requires, in Sections 403.4.4 and 907.2.13.2, that an in-building auxiliary radio communication system (ARCS) be installed and maintained in all newly-constructed high-rise buildings.  

 

What is an ARC SYSTEM? 

 

An ARC system is a Distributed Antenna System (DAS), wireless two-way (2 way) building communication system for Fire Department NYC use. It only receives and transmits Fire Department portable radio frequencies within the building. 

 

An ARC system typically consists of a transceiver (base station) or Radio Amplifier Unit (RAU) as called by FDNY, connected to a building-wide antenna system, with a radio console-Dedicated Radio Console (DRC) in the building lobby Section 917.1.2 of the New York City Building Code and Section FC 511 of the New York City Fire Code together require that ARC systems be installed, acceptance tested, operated, and maintained under the Fire Code and the rules of the Fire Department. 

 

Who needs an ARCS system in NYC and why

 

What are FDNY Minimum Requirements for ARCS?

 

The system must cover entire building footage and must be in full compliance with FDNY’s requirements as 95% coverage at -93 dBm (unit of level used to indicate that a power ratio is expressed in decibels with reference to one milliwatt) in general building areas and 100% at -93 dBm in critical building areas.

 

Critical Areas

 

Critical areas, such as the fire/emergency command center, fire pump room(s), exit stairs, exit passageways, elevator lobbies, standpipe cabinets, sprinkler sectional valve locations, and other areas deemed critical by the authority having jurisdiction at the time of the plan review by the Fire Department.

 

General Building Areas:

 

  • General building areas will have 95 percent of the floor area, radio coverage, under the rules promulgated by the Fire Department.
  • All ARCS infrastructure (RAU, DRC, all cables, and any related circuits) must be 2 hours of fire-rated protected.
  • ARCS must be installed only by a certified master electrician.
  • ARCS must be filed with the FDNY by a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE), Construction drawings have to be signed and stamped (official STATE OF NEW YORK) by the PE showing his license number.

ARC system must have self-monitoring capabilities as continuous self-test and reporting the status of minimum 6 alarms as follows:

 

  1. System status – Active / Non-Active
  2. Power Status – AC / DC / Battery level
  3. Transmitting status
  4. Antenna status – Healthy / Non-Healthy
  5. Room water Leak status
  6. Tamper Switch – ARCS cabinet open/closed.

After Drawings approved by FDNY for construction and system was installed, ARCS must be commissioned and tested by Certified ARCS Company (B03 Certificate of Fitness), licensed by the FDNY.

what are fdny minimum requirements for arcs

We Offer the Best Auxiliary Radio Communication System Installation and Maintenance Service in NYC. 

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Who Needs an Auxiliary Radio Communication Sysytem? 

 

Starting from 2016, any new residential/commercial/public structure that is higher than 75’ (7 floors and higher) will be subject and considered to be installed with ARCS.

 

Why ARCS is Important?

 

The ARCS is considered as an integral part of the Fire Alarm system. Any major building renovation or general reconstruction of an existing building that requires modifications or redesign of the Fire Alarm system in the building will trigger the FDNY to require the installation of the ARCS so the existing buildings will comply with the new code.

The Fire Department adopted this rule to establish requirements for the design, installation, operation, and maintenance of ARC systems, including the testing procedures necessary to confirm that the ARC system is providing adequate radio coverage in the building in all areas accessible for firefighting operations.

who requires an arc system

What does the Rule Reflects?

 

The rule seeks to ensure that ARC systems achieve their intended purpose and, once installed, are continuously maintained in good working order. The new rule, 3 RCNY §511-01, sets forth standards, requirements, and procedures for installation, acceptance testing, daily inspection, annual certification, and five-year recertification of ARC systems.  

 

It requires that the testing of ARC systems be supervised by a person holding a Fire Department license, known as a Certificate of Fitness, who knows the New York City Building Code, Fire Code, and Fire Department rule standards that apply to ARC systems.  

The rule reflects the Fire Code requirement that this person hold a General Radiotelephone Operator License issued by the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

 

The new rule also addresses the operation and maintenance of pre-existing in-building radio communication systems similar to ARC systems that were approved for installation by the Department of Buildings and/or the Fire Department before December 31, 2014.  

A commissioning test must be conducted and the results submitted to the Fire Department, a Fire Department permit must be obtained; operation of the system for maintenance and testing purposes must be under the supervision of a certificate of fitness holder, and the system must be operated and maintained in compliance with the requirements for ARC systems outlined in the rule.

We Offer the Best Auxiliary Radio Communication System Installation and Maintenance Service in NYC. 

Receive Your FREE Estimate in 8 hours, Guaranteed!

About ASM Integrators

For 20+ years, we have provided 2,096+ New York building owners and managers with fire alarm solutions, business security, communication and auxiliary radio communication systems.

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We care about our clients and their safety, and make it our business to serve as an advisor in this complex and constantly changing industry.

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