Public Safety communication involves the act of delivering critical information to safety agencies to share information and coordinate effective incident responses.
Canada’s Ministry for Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) has published a policy framework for the use of a new frequency band (700 MHz) for public safety agencies. Propagation characteristics in this band greatly differ from those of frequency bands used in earlier legacy radio systems (VHF/UHF). This means that signals in this band do not penetrate physical structures alongside the legacy frequencies.
From a radio design and system performance perspective, this is considered to be an important factor. Consideration must be given to the use of these frequencies inside any building structure that can significantly impair the radio signal transmitted from the existing radio infrastructure, i.e., the closest radio tower. Failing to do so results in poor received audio quality or total lack of signal reception. Other additional factors such as new building technologies and shadowing from existing buildings can also severely impact the reception of the radio frequency signal. Without reliable radio signals, anyone inside a building that cannot communicate during an emergency renders entry to the building unsafe.
Reducing the risk of losing communication links to first responders, and the likelihood of this type of an event occurring, has now prompted industry stakeholders to take action and enact the codes and by-laws. Occupancy permits will not be issued until the building is certified to be compliant.
The implementation of in-building radio communication systems for first responders has now become an absolute requirement for buildings in the United States. Installations of these systems are governed by the Standards bodies: NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) and IFC (International Fire Code).
Following suit in British Columbia, Canada, within the last three years, by-laws have been passed by most larger municipalities in the lower mainland. These by-laws require the installation of in-building 700 MHz radio amplification systems if a new or existing building is deemed non-compliant.
For more information on by-laws specific to British Columbia, click here.
Linkwave Wireless is well-versed in all aspects of designing and delivering in-building public safety radio systems. We provide a turnkey project delivery approach with full engagement with all municipal and public safety agency stakeholders to ensure a seamless delivery of the final fully maintained and monitored solution.
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