BDAs or simply Bi-directional or amplifiers, aid in increasing the coverage for public safety communications systems. They are an essential part of a two-way radio communications program.

Along with a network of BDA systems and indoor antennas, they provide reliable radio system coverage for the public inside a building.

Here we will discuss in detail what you need to know about the BDA system in Florida requirements and deployment procedures.

Most people will understand the frustrations that come with technology’s weak cell signals or failures, fuzzy radio channels, or Wi-Fi. However, a bad radio signal or fire alarm monitoring sys can be disastrous and deadly for emergency responders like firefighters and police officers.

The People responsible for other people’s lives and fire alarm system installation are risking their lives too on a regular basis. That is why BDA systems must function properly and effectively. That is why the NFPA is acknowledging that the BDA system in Florida like I-BAND is just as important as fire/smoke detector systems in buildings.

BDA system in Florida code requirements

BDA code can be found in many organizational documents, especially those found and produced by IFC, NFPA & IBC. Florida presently follows NFPA 1 2015 edition and NFPA 101,2015 edition. According to the NFPA 1 section 11.10 requirements, all existing and new buildings are required to have minimum radio signal coverage strength to all fire department communications.

AHJ specifies that all radio signal strength has to be maintained at the required level.

The AHJ will evaluate the need for two-way radio communication enhanced BDA system, by analyzing the radio signal survey conducted by a licensed FCC GROL BDA technician.

When testing the strength of the radio signal, if it indicates the need for a two-way radio communications enhancement system to be installed, the proper permit will be submitted to the city building department for approval and must comply with NFPA 72 & 1221.

For owners and prospective owners of high-rise buildings in Florida, you should have an idea of the Florida Statute 633.202. Here is the explanation.

Radio signal strength survey needs to be completed in existing high-rise structures in Florida

Starting from January 1, 2022, it is compulsory for all existing high-rise structures to improve the signal levels to meet the requirements of AHJ.

With the exemption of apartment buildings, but are expected to comply before January 1, 2025, but the application for the right permit is required by December 31, 2022.

99% coverage is required and mandatory in critical areas like fire pump rooms, passageways, emergency command centers, exit stairs, valve locations, standpipe cabinets, and elevator lobbies. Including 90% coverage of the general building area.

BDA System Florida Deployment Process 

BDA regulations and requirements are entirely new to the Florida building management department. The process starts with equipment verification for local requirements. Then AHJ will decide what frequencies are needed to cover that location req. Next, a licensed and qualified FCC vendor will perform a signal survey to confirm the radio signal level in the building.