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PDFWAC 51-54A-0510

Emergency responder radio coverage.

510.4.1.1 Minimum signal strength into building. The minimum inbound signal strength shall be sufficient to provide usable voice communications throughout the coverage area as specified by the fire code official. The inbound signal level shall be a minimum of -95 dBm throughout the coverage area and sufficient to provide not less than a delivered audio quality (DAQ) of 3.0 or an equivalent signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) applicable to the technology for either analog or digital signals.
510.4.2.4 Signal booster requirements. If used, signal boosters shall meet the following requirements:
1. All signal booster components shall be a National Electrical Manufacturer's Association (NEMA) 4, IP65-type waterproof cabinet or equivalent.
2. Battery systems used for the emergency power source shall be contained in a NEMA 3R or higher-rated cabinet, IP65-type waterproof cabinet or equivalent.
3. Equipment shall have FCC or other radio licensing authority certification and be suitable for public safety use prior to installation.
4. Where a donor antenna exists, isolation shall be maintained between the donor antenna and all inside antennas to not less than 20 dB greater than the system gain under all operating conditions.
5. Bi-directional amplifiers (BDAs) active RF emitting devices used in emergency responder radio coverage systems shall have oscillation prevention built-in oscillation detection and control circuitry.
6. The installation of amplification systems or systems that operate on or provide the means to cause interference on any emergency responder radio coverage networks shall be coordinated and approved by the fire code official.
510.5.3 Acceptance test procedure. Where an emergency responder radio coverage system is required, and upon completion of installation, the building owner shall have the radio system tested to verify that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is not less than 95 percent. The test procedure shall be conducted as follows:
1. Each floor of the building shall be divided into a grid of 20 approximately equal test areas.
2. The test shall be conducted using a calibrated portable radio of the latest brand and model used by the agency talking through the agency's radio communications system or equipment approved by the fire code official.
3. Failure of more than one test area shall result in failure of the test.
4. In the event that two of the test areas fail the test, in order to be more statistically accurate, the floor shall be permitted to be divided into 40 equal test areas. Failure of not more than two nonadjacent test areas shall not result in failure of the test. If the system fails the 40 area test, the system shall be altered to meet the 95 percent coverage requirement.
5. A test location approximately in the center of each test area shall be selected for the test, with the radio enabled to verify two-way communications to and from the outside of the building through the public agency's radio communications system. Once the test location has been selected, that location shall represent the entire test area. Failure in the selected test location shall be considered to be a failure of that test area. Additional test locations shall not be permitted.
6. The gain values of all amplifiers shall be measured and the test measurement results shall be kept on file with the building owner so that the measurements can be verified during annual tests. In the event that the measurement results become lost, the building owner shall be required to rerun the acceptance test to reestablish the gain values.
7. As part of the installation, a spectrum analyzer or other suitable test equipment shall be utilized to ensure spurious oscillations are not being generated by the subject signal booster. This test shall be conducted at the time of installation and at subsequent annual inspections.
8. Systems incorporating Class B signal-booster devices or Class B broadband fiber remote devices shall be tested using two portable radios simultaneously conducting subjective voice quality checks. One portable radio shall be positioned not greater than 10 feet (3048 mm) from the indoor antenna. The second portable radio shall be positioned at a distance that represents the farthest distance from any indoor antenna. With both portable radios simultaneously keyed up on different frequencies within the same band, subjective audio testing shall be conducted and comply with DAQ levels as specified in Sections 510.4.1.1 and 510.4.1.2.
510.5 Installation requirements. The installation of the public safety radio coverage system shall be in accordance with NFPA 1221 and Sections 510.5.1 through 510.5.5.
510.5.5 Mounting of the donor antenna(s). To maintain proper alignment with the system designed donor site, donor antennas shall be permanently affixed on the highest possible position on the building or where approved by the fire code official. A clearly visible sign stating "movement or repositioning of this antenna is prohibited without approval from the fire code official." The antenna installation shall be in accordance with the applicable requirements in the International Building Code for weather protection of the building envelope.
510.6.1 Testing and proof of compliance. The owner of the building or owner's authorized agent shall have the emergency responder radio coverage system inspected and tested annually or where structural changes occur including additions or remodels that could materially change the original field performance tests. Testing shall consist of the following:
1. In-building coverage test as described in Section 510.5.3 or as required by the fire code official.
2. Signal boosters shall be tested to verify that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance or set to optimize the performance of the system.
3. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load of a period of 1 hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the 1-hour test period the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional 1-hour periods until the integrity of the battery can be determined.
4. Other active components shall be checked to verify operation within the manufacturers specification.
5. At the conclusion of the testing, a report, which shall verify compliance with Section 510.5.3, shall be submitted to the fire code official.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 19.27.031 and 19.27.074. WSR 21-04-003, § 51-54A-0510, filed 1/20/21, effective 2/20/21; WSR 19-24-058, § 51-54A-0510, filed 11/27/19, effective 7/1/20.]
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