Bi-Directional Amplifiers – What You Need To Know!

Emergency Radio Communications in a large building are extremely important. Having good communication is crucial during an emergency. Building owners are now required to provide adequate emergency radio signals will eliminate communication failures. This is where bi-directional amplifiers come in. These pieces of equipment assure that emergency responders can communicate to the outside world.

Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES) were first introduced in the 2009 International Building Code.The requirement was established to address the performance of emergency responders’ radios and their communication. 

What are Bi-Directional Amplifiers?

Bi-Directional Amplifiers, also known as BDAs, are signal boosters that can sustain two-way radio communications throughout a building. This includes stairwells, underground tunnels, parking garages, and other areas where it may be hard to get a radio signal. The building size, construction features, and other elements can absorb or block radio communications. If a building doesn’t meet the required signal strength (-95dBm), a BDA is necessary.

How do Bi-Directional Amplifiers work?

The concept of a BDA is pretty simple. It has two modes, receive and transmit. In receive mode, the BDA amplifies incoming cell signals and broadcasts them throughout the building. It uses the system’s indoor antenna to get better coverage.

When it’s in transmit mode, it works to amplify and extend the range of outgoing signals from your building. The good thing about BDAs is that they will only transmit regardless of the carrier the programmed frequency used by the local emergency responder radio system.

Why are Bi-Directional Amplifiers important?

Bi-Directional Amplifiers are important because they can assist greatly during an emergency, such as a fire required by law as part of the NC Fire Code 2018 section 510. During a fire or other emergency, responders in a large building may not be able to communicate with each other easily. A BDA makes this easier and can prevent an emergency from becoming a tragedy. These devices help to amplify a wireless signal throughout a building and save lives.

Who can benefit from installing a Bi-Directional Amplifier?

Besides helping to save lives, BDAs also help employees to communicate more efficiently in a building. This can enhance productivity and ultimately, your bottom line.

Large buildings can benefit from having almost always require a Bi-Directional Amplifier due to today’s construction materials such as Low-E glass. In many buildings, BDAs are mandatory in places like hotels, schools, sports complexes, and government facilities. Warehouses may also be required to have one as well as large offices.

Any business or building where people gather and spend a great deal of time can benefit from a Bi-Directional Amplifier. It simply makes communicating easier, especially during an emergency where first responders desperately need to be able to stay in communication with each other. Installing a Bi-Directional Amplifier is also beneficial because it improves cellular and two-way communication within your buildings.

When you’re thinking about improving communication and safety, installing a BDA is something you need to discuss with your local Fire Marshall or Authority Having Jurisdiction. It’s an investment in your business’ security as well as the safety of your employees and anyone who enters your building. For more information on Bi-Directional Amplifiers please call (800) 255-5664

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