The Requirements for Public Safety Distributed Antenna Systems

A fireman sprays a hose with a walkie on his shoulder that requires a distributed antenna system

Emergency responders require functioning distributed antenna systems to enable communication within the facilities they assist.

A Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS) or ERRCES (Emergency Responder Radio Communication System) is an essential in-building life safety system. ERRCES provides radio coverage via an antenna system throughout a building. In particular, the systems provide an amplified radio signal inside buildings to ensure that emergency responders such as firemen, paramedics, and law enforcement officers can maintain radio communications during an emergency. A DAS requires several elements to be approved by government officials such as the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), Local Fire Marshall and Building Code Inspectors. FiberPlus can install every facet of your DAS to ensure that your building is up to code. Read below to discover what is required for a  Public Safety DAS and why it is an essential Life Safety System. 

The Benefit of Public Safety Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)

Both radio and cellular radio frequency signals are reduced when passed through dense building materials such as E-glass, concrete and metal. Because many large buildings are constructed with these materials, emergency responders would have great difficulty communicating in an emergency if no distributed antenna system was present

What Is a DAS?

The typical components of public safety distributed antenna systems include: 

  • Rooftop Doner Antenna
  • Outdoor Coax Cable
  • Indoor Coax Cable
  • Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA)
  • Splitters and Tappers
  • Jumper Cables
  • Indoor Antenna

System Coverage

Your public safety distributed antenna system will need to meet the coverage requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the International Fire Code (IFC). IFC dictates that 95% coverage is needed in all areas, and NFPA requires 99% coverage in areas of vital importance. 

NEMA-4 Enclosures

The National Electrical Manufacturer Association (NEMA) specifies that communication tools must be watertight and weatherproof and resistant to damage from fire hoses. The NFPA and IFC dictate that all equipment in the public safety DAS network needs to be housed in a NEMA-4 compliant enclosure. 

System Monitoring Alarms

Distributed antenna system monitoring alarms provide real-time information on any power or battery failures, antenna network malfunctions, or battery capacity. 

Minimum Signal Strength of -95 dB

Both the NFPA and the IFC dictate that -95 dB is the minimum signal strength within the coverage area your DAS will need to have. 

Battery Backup

The equipment that supports your public safety distributed antenna system needs to be able to function for at least 24 hours on a backup battery to be considered up-to-code. 

Frequency Updates

Systems supporting public safety emergency responder radio coverage need to be able to support frequency update requirements. 

Antenna Isolation 

The NFPA requires your antenna isolation to be 15 dB higher than the gain of the amplifier. Consider a directional antenna for your public safety DAS rather than an omnidirectional antenna to acquire the proper coverage, signal strength, and antenna isolation. 


Get in Touch with FiberPlus

FiberPlus has been providing data communication solutions for over 25 years in the Mid Atlantic Region for a number of different markets. What began as a cable installation company for Local Area Networks has grown into a leading provider of innovative technology solutions improving the way our customers communicate and keeping them secure. Our solutions now include:

  •     Structured Cabling (Fiberoptic, Copper and Coax for inside and outside plant networks)
  •     Electronic Security Systems (Access Control & CCTV Solutions)
  •     Wireless Access Point installations
  •     Public Safety DAS – Emergency Call Stations
  •     Audio/Video Services (Intercoms and Display Monitors)
  •     Support Services
  •     Specialty Systems
  •     Design/Build Services

FiberPlus promises the communities in which we serve that we will continue to expand and evolve as new technology is introduced within the telecommunications industry.

Have any questions? Interested in one of our services? Call FiberPlus today 800-394-3301, email us at, or visit our contact page.  Our offices are located in the Washington, DC metro area, Richmond, VA, and Columbus, OH.  In Pennsylvania, please call Pennsylvania Networks, Inc. at 814-259-3999.

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This entry was posted on Friday, November 22nd, 2019 at 2:10 pm . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.