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Communication Systems for First Responders
July 17, 2008 - Contact FacilitiesNet Editorial Staff »
Everyone is familiar with the firefighter phone system. Usually there is a red phone on every other floor in a building’s stairwells and one on the main fire panel so firefighters can communicate with each other or an occupant in trouble can call for help during an emergency.
However, during a session at the recent National Fire Protection Associations conference, a team of firefighters admitted that nobody ever really uses the system. When fighting a dynamic fire, it doesn’t make sense to rely on stationary phones to relay information. A remote radio system is more likely to be used.
Though it depends on local code, the presenters suggested that designers could save a few bucks and not put in the traditional firefighter phone system as long as their building was equipped to support a radio system.
If the decision is made to only rely on a radio communication system, its important to have the fire department test their system within your facility. In concrete and steel buildings radio communication can be difficult, especially in high-rise buildings. Amplifiers might be needed to make the radios work optimally.
building automation, controls, system integration, open systems