An auxiliary radio communication system (ARCS) 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. The portable radios carried by Fire Department firefighters are limited in terms of the distance that they can transmit within a building, depending on the building’s construction. ARC Systems allow on-scene communications throughout the building.
Sections 403.4.4 and 907.2.13.2 of the 2014 NYC Building Code require that an in-building auxiliary radio communication system be installed and maintained in all newly constructed high-rise buildings and existing buildings undergoing a major alteration. ARC Systems must be designed, installed, acceptance tested, operated and maintained in accordance with FCC regulations, NYC Fire Code section 511, NYC Building Code section 917, NYC Electrical Code 2011, NFPA Standard 72 as amended by 1 RCNY 3616-04, 3 RCNY 511-01 and applicable technical criteria. The fire alarm system design will also be subject to compliance with Department of Buildings Bulletins, Fire Department Bulletins, along with Rules of the City of New York (see additional resources section), where applicable.
In order to submit an auxiliary radio communication system design for review, a New York State registered design professional holding either a Professional Engineer License or a Registered Architect License must certify the proposed auxiliary radio communication system design plans. The design professional must design the system to comply with all applicable codes.
Complete information and required documents for approval and filing procedures of ARC systems can be viewed on the FDNY Business “All Certifications” page. The filing procedure must follow the directions as indicated on the FDNY Business.
Note: Additional application documents may be requested by the examiner if the project is deemed non-code compliant including but not limited to Construction Code Determination (CCD-1), or FDNY FA variances (TM-4).
Forms, Plans and supporting documents for applications filed prior to May 22nd, 2020 can be scanned and submitted by email in PDF format only to Plan.Intake@fdny.nyc.gov.
Applications which are filed after May 22nd, 2020 (or a resubmission process which has exceeded 6 month resubmission period) shall be submitted via the FDNY Business Portal.
FDNY Business Support Team
Questions about the New York City Fire Code, call 311 and ask for the FDNY Customer Service Center or send an email to FDNY.BusinessSupport@fdny.nyc.gov.