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Why Process is Critical When Lives Are at Risk

From Sub-Basement to the 104th Floor 

When a fire alarm is activated, people rush from a building, desperate to escape. That’s when our end user, the brave members of the FDNY race inside. Providing the most robust, long-lasting, wireless two-way in-building communications systems is our company’s mission, and we take it very seriously. In New York City, new construction over seventy-five feet tall, and existing buildings undergoing a renovation of a legacy safety system require the installation of an Auxiliary Radio Communications Systems or ARCS. These systems provide in-building radio communications for the FDNY, ensuring vital connectivity between the Fire Chief in the Fire Command Center and his or her firefighters. The ARC system must function uniformly no matter where the firefighter is in the building from the sub-basement to the 104th floor. 


RFS – Subject Matter Experts 

That’s why RFS gets involved at the earliest stages of a building’s lifecycle, often requested by the engineering or consulting firms working on the project. They look to us as subject matter experts in the field of wireless communications. RFS will perform a complete building structure analysis to determine accurate radio frequency (RF) propagation. From there, we’ll discover the most cost-efficient antenna placement and cable routes, verifying coverage against code requirements. We’ll thoroughly review the plan with our client and installers for acceptance. Once installed, we return to the job to test the installed cable plant before commissioning, identifying any known issues or problems. Finally, we’ll commission the system as operational.  



iBwave is the global industry-standard technology for developing accurate wireless propagation. At RFS, we’ve raised the bar for engineered designs by using iBwave models since our inception. When we started our company, we specifically hired iBwave certified engineers that already had years of experience with the technology. We are proud to say that we are the most proficient ARCS users of iBwave, with the greatest experience in the business. We are not satisfied with providing estimates for placement of antennas, so we run propagation analysis, and provide heat maps that depict wireless coverage in a building.  


FDNY Approvals Through Teamwork 

An ARCS project is a collaborative effort between a wireless system integrator, such as RFS, the electrical contractors responsible for the installation of life safety and security systems in a building, and at times the fire alarm and security company whose systems are installed simultaneously with an ARCS and follow the same strict code requirements from the Department of Buildings (DoB) and the FDNY. We take great pride in our high-level of communication amongst our strategic partners. We work together to assure a smooth and successful installation. Many of our ARCS are getting approval on the first inspection due to our eye for detail, which reduces problems and minimizes the time to completion of a project.  


Predictive Analysis Ensures Adequate Coverage 

    At RFS, our ARCS pass inspections, allowing our building owners to receive their Certificate of Occupancy. We do this by using predictive analysis to ensure adequate coverage. Other companies without this level of sophistication risk not having their systems meet the stringent coverage requirements. They will try to overcome design deficiencies by turning up the power, in many cases making the situation worse. It’s always financially beneficial to do the right thing from the start; instead of taking the chance that a failed FDNY inspection delays the receipt of a Certificate of Occupancy. 


For more information on ARC systems, please contact me at lkeyes@rf-solutions.com or visit us online.