Whenever a building is on fire, the amount of time it takes for first responders to perform their duties at the scenes determines the extent of damage caused. Ideally, you want response times to be fast to reduce the amount of damage and risk of injury to a minimum.But in reality, response times are hampered by issues with communication.

A survey made by the International Association of Fire Chief’s revealed that 98.5% of first responders reported building dead spots. Out of all those surveyed, 56% said they experienced breakdowns in communication during emergencies while 31% experience total failure. 

Due largely to these reported issues, BDA Systems were created in order to avoid such issues during critical moments. 

What is Bi-Directional Amplifier?

Bi-Directional Amplifier (BDA) systems comprise one part of a greater public safety radio system that enhances the respondents ability to communicate with one another during an emergency. This is done by enhancing the coverage area of radio communication in buildings and environments that block radio frequencies and are prone to dead spots. These locations may include basements, dead spot tunnel areas, remote locations, and office buildings dead spot spaces.

Public Safety BDA systems were implemented mainly to address the issues experienced by first responders with their lines of communication during emergency situations especially when they involve environments with weak internal signals, surrounded by dense greenery or basements.

There are actually two types of BDA systems based on their function. Consumer/Commercial BDA Systems, also known as cellular signal boosters, were made for mobile phones and cellular devices. They were made to eliminate dead spots inside buildings by propagating radio signals they receive inside. 

Public Safety BDA Systems, meanwhile, were made especially to improve communicate between two-way radios. They amplify radio signals for emergency personnel radio networks on 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 900 MHz frequencies.

Although different states have varying laws, many states today require the installation of BDA systems.

How do Public Safety BDA Systems Work?

Response times inside buildings during emergency situations are contingent on how well they communicate during operations. Firefighters and police personnel rely on two-radios during these periods for that reason. However, in many buildings, communications is hampered as signals cannot get through. This is where Public Safety BDAs come in.

Public Safety BDAs also provide a boost to radio signals they receive. But instead of propagating cell signals, they work by extending the range of the signals they receive in areas where reception is poor.

As emergency device, Public Safety BDAs are designed to work efficiently even when subjected to extreme  heat and even in the absence of electricity.

Who Needs Public Safety Bi-Directional Amplifier?

In most cases, high rise buildings are the ones that are most in need and should consider adding the bi-directional amplifier.

This can help the businesses operate smoothly in their daily communications and specially in times of crises and emergencies.

This also does not only applied during emergency communication but also helps increase internet connectivity in the building for everyone.

Meeting the Challenge for Greater Safety

According to public safety codes, BDAs must be able to provide ample transmission coverage using public safety-only bands and frequencies. These standards were added as minimum requirements for BDAs in order to provide reliable radio coverage for first responders during emergencies.

Set by the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association, these were added to create standards for performance, reliability, and quality to improve responder response.