Ways to Create A First Responder-Friendly Facility 

Jul 20, 2023 | Communication Systems, Fire Protection Services

Any facility, be it an office building, hospital, stadium, or others, now has to meet minimum standards for communication signal strength. This is meant to ensure that first responders can communicate clearly to begin with because, in the past, signal “dead zones” and interference prevented responders from finding out about dangerous conditions and complicated their efforts to save people in the facility. If you’re not sure if your facility meets these new standards, you need to have testing done and potentially modify aspects of the facility.

The Problems First Responders Face

When first responders are in your facility, they need to be able to warn each other about problems and pass along critical information. Unfortunately, a lot of older facilities have “dead zones,” meaning there’s no signal that phones and radios can use to transmit messages. Add to this an unfamiliarity with the facility layout and potential signal interference from other equipment or environmental noise, and you have a recipe for disaster. First responders wouldn’t be able to work as effectively, and they could end up in trouble due to a lack of information.

Start With a Signal Test

Even if you know there are dead spots or other problem areas in the facility, get a baseline test that evaluates the signal throughout the entire building or complex. This should give you a map of sorts that shows where there are communication problems, and why they occur. With that in hand, you can get to work remedying these issues.

The test can also look at the clarity of any communication that does get through. Maybe you have a strong signal, but the sound of traffic from a nearby freeway makes hearing messages over the radio or phone difficult. That’s something you need to fix as well.

Finally, you also get a chance to see if the layout is creating issues itself. Maybe there are old signs that now lead to dead ends after remodeling took away whatever room or hallway the sign referred to. That’s something that could complicate communications and needs to be fixed, too.

Fixing the Problems

Bad signal strength requires extra antennas and signal boosters; excessive noise requires sound-proofing materials (that then need to be tested again to ensure they aren’t blocking a signal). Old signs need to be updated, and interference from other equipment may require shielding or other insulation. The fixes depend on the problems, but everything can be fixed somehow.

A Security Company Can Help

Our security company in Philadelphia may be just what you need. Many security companies offer testing and can help increase signal strength. Keystone Fire and Security can help you ensure your facility is as first responder-friendly as possible as well as ensuring the building or complex has everything it needs to keep its occupants safe. If you need fire alarm systems in Delaware County, evaluation for signal strength, and other security help, contact us as soon as possible.


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Keystone protects all facilities and properties – business, municipal, and industrial – with a full range of fire protection services and life safety solutions. We will work with you to ensure your project is completed – on time and on budget.