Reading this, you might be thinking, what is a BDA system? A Bi-Directional Amplification System, or BDA, is a dependable in-building public safety radio infrastructure system that is used to enhance and safeguard police, fire, and EMS emergency communications. BDA is a system that helps to improve in-building radio frequency signal coverage for the use of public safety. This system is used primarily to address the performance of any emergency responders’ portable radios by amplifying existing radio signals and maintain strong, effective wireless communications for responding emergency personnel. This is helpful during medical emergencies or fires or law enforcement activities. Building construction, construction features (Low-E windows), and size can absorb or block radio communications. With the right amount of signal strength, efficient communications could save the lives of first responders and building occupants, too. Read on to learn more about Bi-Directional Amplification systems.
Who is Required to Install and Maintain BDA Systems
Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems were introduced in the 2009 International Building Code (IBC). Currently, local authorities (“AHJ”) determine whether a system is needed for a specific building or if a current system is appropriate. A determination cannot be made until an RF survey, performed by a specialized license holder, is completed. Results are submitted to the AHJ to determine what is required (Full System, Partial System, or Waiver).
Why is a BDA System Needed?
Reliable radio coverage is vital for first responders during emergencies, but approximately 56% of fire departments have experienced a communications failure during an emergency. Notably, on 9/11 fire, police and other first responders had difficulty communicating in the buildings. Clear warnings from emergency command centers were received by first responders outside the buildings telling crews to evacuate because of the obvious structural damage. These warnings were sent 20 minutes before the 2nd tower collapsed. Even though the ground crews communicated, the lack of signal strength inside the buildings prevented emergency personnel from hearing the evacuation order. This contributed to lives being lost. If a building has spots where emergency radio signals aren’t sufficient for reliable communications, a distributed antenna system will help amplify and distribute the signals to the deficient areas. Therefore, it is vital to install a BDA system in your facility if you have areas where emergency communications are impeded. Fireline is an expert in BDA Systems and is available to evaluate your building.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.