Emergency Communication Requirements
August 12, 2019
It has come to our attention that some FAA members have been solicited by service providers regarding equipment requirements related to fire department communication systems within apartment buildings. This email alert is intended to provide you with relevant background information to ensure your company is informed of the requirements in state law.
Firefighters and other first responders often use radios to communicate during an emergency. In some instances, certain high-rise building characteristics can weaken the radio signal used by first responders and thus, hinder their ability to communicate during an emergency. State law [633.202 (18), Florida Fire Prevention Code] gives local jurisdictions the authority to determine if high-rise buildings within their community require radio signal enhancement technology and enforce such requirements. Under the law, existing buildings are not required to comply with the new radio signal strength requirements until 2025.
Since local governments have discretion related to radio communication requirements for high-rise buildings, the specific equipment needs will vary significantly between buildings and communities. It is our understanding that local jurisdictions are conducting outreach to notify properties within their jurisdiction that may be impacted by these requirements. Therefore, if your property is impacted by additional equipment requirements, you will likely receive a notice from your local fire department.
FAA encourages members to conduct due diligence and rely on information from the local fire department when determining what (if any) equipment enhancements will be required. We hope this information is helpful. Please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.