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Member Alert: Emergency Response Radio Systems

Tuesday, August 20, 2019  
Posted by: Shannon Roberts
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It has come to our attention that recently misinformation may be being disseminated about the requirements for existing building emergency response radio communication (ERRC) systems.

Under the current code (IFC 2012), existing buildings with working wired emergency communication systems are exempt from providing additional communication vehicles for emergency responders such as DAS systems, and are not required to provide ERRC testing. This applies to new construction only.

Despite what has been disseminated, the code is clear on the requirements for existing buildings:

International Fire Code 1103.2 Emergency responder radio coverage in existing buildings, Houston Amendments

Existing buildings that do not 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, shall be equipped with such coverage according to one of the following:

  1. Whenever an existing wired communication system cannot be repaired or is being replaced, or where not approved in accordance with Section 510.1, Exception 1.
  2. Within a time frame established by the adopting authority.
  3. In facilities where emergency responder radio coverage is required and such systems, components or equipment required could have a negative impact on the normal operations of that facility, the fire code official shall have the authority to accept an automatically activated emergency responder radio coverage system.

Houston BOMA was involved in the creation of IFC 2012 Houston amendments, and has had numerous meetings with Houston’s Chief Building Official and the Houston Fire Marshal on this specific topic. We have been assured the current code has not changed nor are there current plans to change the code. 

If you have any questions, please contact us.

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Houston Building Owners & Managers Association
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