As consumers of cellular devices we know the importance of having a great signal. We have all been in a building where we need to leave our desk and find an open space or a window just to hear our calls or be heard by others. Imagine this same scenario, but in an emergency….and not just on the consumer level but for our emergency first responders. The cost of a fire fighter or EMT not getting a good signal could be their own lives or the lives of others.

As an employee would you feel comfortable working in a building with little to no cellular coverage? If you could be told, would you be willing to work in a building that first responders have a tough time communicating or doing their jobs in when trying to respond to a 911 call? At Parallel, we encourage facility owners to ensure their buildings not only provide great cellular coverage to their co-workers, employees and visitors but to also guarantee radio coverage for first responders.

Many facilities are not ready or equipped to handle an emergency situation. We hardly hear about the issues at hand when an emergency arises but there is always an after-the-fact discussion on how this could have been prevented.

With new Minnesota codes being established in each city and county, these situations can be addressed. New code requirements call out that new builds are requiring systems for first responder radio coverage but are not always being enforced. There are minimum signal strengths, cable protection, battery backup, and many more code related commands to follow. It is on the building owner, general contractor, or architect to understand these systems and when they are needed. These systems typically become an afterthought until the Fire Marshall makes a site visit but cannot communicate from inside the facility.

While new technologies are being developed, it is important for all facilities to investigate the buildings communication, codes, and liability of providing a safe work environment not only for your employees but for the first responders entering the building to possibly save a life.

First responders have been quoted, saying that right behind their safety gear, their radio or communication device is the most important part of an emergency situation.

Let’s keep our first responders safe, please contact us today to see if your facility is up to code and to receive a free survey of your building.

About the Author

Phil is Parallel’s Distributed Antenna Solutions Architect responsible for overseeing the DAS team from assessment to delivery. Phil has a keen knowledge of the complexities of wireless systems and is curious for better DAS solutions from large stadiums to small office buildings.