In-Building Public Safety Q&A

Robert Urian Safer Buildings Coalition DAS for Public-Safety

Safer Buildings Coalition DAS for Public-Safety Q&A featuring Robert Urian (Wireless Signal Solutions, CEO)

Safer Buildings Coalition Q & A with Robert Urian, CEO for WSS:

SBC: Which problems do you focus on solving in the process of improving in-building public safety wireless communications?

The major issue that we confront in order to provide code-compliance is the codes themselves. Since most government entities do not write their own codes, they simply adopt national codes. The fire code in no different, and how they interpret the need for cellular coverage in addition to local fire & PD radio coverage, is varied at best.

SBC: Which problems do you focus on solving in the process of improving in-building public safety wireless communications?

Robert: The major issue that we confront in order to provide code-compliance is the codes themselves. Since most government entities do not write their own codes, they simply adopt national codes. The fire code in no different, and how they interpret the need for cellular coverage in addition to local fire & PD radio coverage, is varied at best.

The problem that we see most challenging in relationship to the fire-code is that most government entities, 1) Adopt the NFPA or IFC, but they don’t update code with the author’s revisions and tend to get outdated rapidly, 2) Most local entities write a supplement to NFPA/IFC that adds to, or redefines code compliance, and although their intentions are good, it usually skews the intention of the code. 3) Generally, local entities use non-public safety personnel (code enforcement, building inspectors, etc.) to do code compliance. Code interpretation often tends to be based on unrealistic and unattainable parameters, with little public safety input. 4) Most government entities have no ability to address existing buildings, only new construction. With that, there is little or no chance of achieving code-compliance in existing structures, which comprise the greatest safety issues.

SBC: Do you have any products or services that can improve in-building public safety wireless communications?

Robert: WSS, in many cases, must develop its own supplemental products and solutions to fill in product gap-requirements. As an example, depending on what year and version of NFPA/IFC the local entity adopts, we often find it necessary to custom build product, because no product solution is available. System monitoring is a good example. Depending on the building’s fire alarm system, it is often necessary to design and build a proprietary interface. Also, depending of the combination of radio frequencies used, off-the-shelf solutions are not always available. In a combined cellular/public safety DAS, interference is always a challenge especially between the wireless carrier channels and local police/fire radio frequencies.

SBC: Why is it important for Wireless Signal Solutions and others in the industry to get involved in the public safety arena?

Robert: When a client asks why we do what we do, I offer a personal perspective. I ask if they have ever been in a burning building, unable to see through the smoke, and unsure how to escape, or how to get help. The answer is usually no, but the picture is framed in their minds as to the need. As an Ex-Army Master Bomb Disposal tech, and one-time public-safety director, I know the danger first-responders face, and at WSS we help reduce that risk and danger. We don’t have all the answers, but getting local entities and building owners to accept that they have a responsibility to public safety personnel is a big step forward.

SBC: What inspired you to join the Safer Buildings Coalition?

Robert: I was approached by a DAS distributor and they asked if I was a member of SBC. Until then, I had no idea that SBC existed. A little research concluded that SBC was not only just a good idea, but a necessity for cities across the U.S. We are confronted daily with those local entities that need direction and questions answered by someone other than a vendor.

SBC: What would you say to others in the industry considering joining the Safer Buildings Coalition?

Robert: Not all DAS providers are involved in the public safety side of the industry, and I will admit that it often is not as easy as cellular DAS. With public safety, you are dealing with mission-critical circumstances, local governments with difference philosophies, multiple fire code variations, and you are ultimately responsible for design and integration. You are the beginning and the end, and lives are at stake if you don’t take it all seriously. DAS providers also don’t always see the link between indoor public safety and cellular DAS. It is our hope that by joining SBC we can help make a difference, and we would encourage others to do the same.

SBC: How can others contact you about your products and services?

Robert: We can easily be contacted through our website www.wirelesssignalsolutions.com or directly by telephone at (480) 219-5957

-Q&A article re-published from www.saferbuildings.org


When it comes to Public Safety DAS, nobody beats Wireless Signal Solutions for Quality Designs, Quality Installations, and Competitive Prices.

• WSS has a proven track record of designing, installing, and managing DAS implementations.
• WSS is able to explain to you why the proposed solution is best suited for your organization’s needs.
• WSS has solid relationships with wireless carriers and is able to seamlessly coordinate those carriers onto your DAS.
• WSS has a team of professional, knowledgeable engineers and project managers well-versed in industry best practices.

 

To request a site-survey project quote or have more questions about Federal Public Safety Code Compliance, please contact us!  (480) 219-5957