Frequently Asked Questions
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Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about ERRC testing, certification and coverage compliance.
Q: What is IFC 510 Building Code?
A: Shortly after the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST), with support and funding from the U.S. Congress through FEMA, conducted a building and fire safety investigation. NIST’s World Trade Center report (http://wtc.nist.gov/), provides a summary of their findings and recommendations. Among their recommendations, Recommendation 22 provided the impetus for updates to the Codes.
The adoption of the International Fire Code (IFC), Section 510, requiring in-building coverage for public safety radio communication systems has caused some confusion and surprised some building owners and developers as most were unaware of this requirement. IFC 510, specifies that “All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems of the jurisdiction at the exterior of the building”.
Approval is based upon the existing coverage levels of the public safety communication systems utilized by the jurisdiction and measured at the exterior of the building. At a minimum a -95 dBm signal strength received in 95 percent of all non-critical areas on each floor of the building.
Q: Does the IFC 510 Building Code apply to my building?
A: Most new commercial buildings are subject to the IFC 510 building code and are required to be tested by qualified personnel. In most cases, a “Letter of Certification” must be submitted to the local fire officials before they will issue a “Certificate of Occupancy”. Typically, AHJ’s where the building is being constructed or pre-existing buildings where they deem “need to be tested” will be contacted by the AHJ letting them know that the building will need to be tested.
Q: How do I know if my building meets the IFC 510 requirements?
A: Trained and certified FCC technicians that utilize specialized equipment to measure the transmitted Public Safety Radio System signal levels that are penetrating from outside the building, as well as, the Emergency Responder radio signal levels transmitting back to the Public Safety Radio System tower site, from inside the building. Per IFC 510, two-way radio coverage must be a minimum of 95% on each floor of the building. If the building passes, a letter is issued to certify IFC 510 compliance. If the building fails, it is the responsibility of the building owner to have an “Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System” (ERRCS) installed and maintained to provide the required radio coverage per IFC 510.
Q: Who can test & certify for the IFC 510 building code?
A: ERL FCC technicians can test and certify buildings for IFC 510 compliance. Our team of qualified RF test Technicians have over 25 years of utilizing 2-way radio systems and RF technology. We utilize industry standard, calibrated test equipment to perform on-site spectrum analysis of radio signal levels to ensure compliance with IFC 510 requirements and work closely with local fire officials to verify that our testing services meet the agencies current regulatory requirements. A “Certificate of Occupancy” for buildings that pass the testing is provided to building owners, general contractors or their designee upon completion of the IFC 510 testing.
Q: What if my building fails the IFC 510 testing?
A: If a building fails the IFC 510 testing, the local fire officials (AHJ’s) will usually require that an “Emergency Responder Radio Coverage System” (ERRCS), with a secondary power source, be installed. ERL Technologies can provide an ERRCS solution company to bring your building into compliance with the IFC 510 code.
Q: How much does a test cost?
A: There are a few factors that goes into the pricing of a ERRC test. The main one being the total square foot of the building being tested. Call us directly to get a specific quote that matches your square foot testing area.
If you have any questions that you can’t find the answer to, we are committed to providing support. Give us a call directly at (402) 315-8034 or simply click on the contact button below.