The 2014 New York City Building Code requires, in Sections 403.4.4 and 907.2.13.2, that an in-building auxiliary radio communication (ARC) system be installed and maintained in all newly constructed high-rise buildings. An ARC system is a wireless two-way building communication system for Fire Department use only that receives and transmits Fire Department portable radio frequencies within the building.
An ARC system typically consists of a transceiver (base station) connected to a building-wide antenna system, with a radio console in the building lobby. Section 917.1.2 of the New York City Building Code and Section FC 511 of the New York City Fire Code together require that ARC systems be installed, acceptance tested, operated and maintained in accordance with the Fire Code and the rules of the Fire Department.
Fire Department Rule 3 RCNY 511-01 establishes the requirements for the design, installation, operation and maintenance of ARC systems, including the testing procedures necessary to confirm that the ARC system provides adequate radio coverage throughout the building for firefighting operations.
After obtaining acceptance of an Auxiliary Radio Communication System (ARCS) Application and the installation of the ARC system is completed, a commissioning test must be performed and prepared in accordance with 3 RCNY 511-01 section F. Upon Fire Department acceptance of the commissioning test report, a Fire Department inspection for approval of the system can be scheduled.
In addition to the initial commissioning test report, a recertification test must be performed and submitted to the Department in accordance with 3 RCNY 511-01 section G.4 no less than once every five (5) years.
FDNY Business Support Team
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