Honeywell BDAs Improve First Responder, Building Occupant Safety

New Honeywell communications systems and bi-directional amplifiers (BDA) provide scalable solutions to support first responder emergency radio connectivity.

Continuous and critical in-building radio coverage for first responders is now possible in buildings of all sizes. Honeywell has launched communications systems and bi-directional amplifiers (BDA) that cover the entire Public Safety spectrum, providing scalable solutions to support first responder emergency radio connectivity even in challenging environments. The new products also meet regulations of almost any jurisdiction or city.

bi-directional amplifiers
(Photo: Adobe Stock by Tyler Olson)

The expanded Honeywell portfolio includes high power 5W BDAs and Fiber DAS systems; PSC/Digital Fiber DAS with redundancy support; and Digital 700/800 MHz BDAs with an easy-to-use assisted wizard providing automatic calibration features. The portfolio includes a “No Noise” performance that reduces uplink noise and potentially harmful interference to public safety radios, helping to keep communications clear between first responder teams on the ground and in the building to better support their safety.

According to a 2017 International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) survey by the Safer Buildings Coalition, 56% of fire departments have experienced a communications failure in a building during an emergency event, leaving firefighters and other first responders virtually stranded in these situations after losing communications. In-building communications systems, like those offered by Honeywell, enable first responders to stay connected throughout a building that may have a poor radio signal due to Low-E glass windows, energy-saving cladding or wall composition, and even in underground areas such as car parks. In-building communications can also support occupant safety with timely, clear, and accurate notifications of emergencies and recommended responses.

“It’s critical for first responders to stay connected with each other when responding to an emergency – not only so they know how to better respond to the situation but to also provide better protection to those who protect us,” said Alessandro Araldi, general manager, Global In-Building Communications, Honeywell. “We believe that every building should be able to comply with this requirement, so we created BDA systems that are scalable for any building size, can communicate on any public safety band and are easier to install, use and maintain. Making buildings safer is key to our business at Honeywell and we believe they should be safer for anyone who is in them or use them, for any purpose.”

Key benefits of the new Honeywell in-building communications solutions include:

  • Complies with almost any jurisdictional requirements: adheres to the latest code requirements for Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES) and is UL2524 2nd Edition listed. The portfolio supports all major public safety spectrum bands, including VHF, UHF, 700 MHz, FirstNet Band 14, and 800 MHz, offering cost-effective and scalable solutions for buildings of all sizes.
  • Enhances in-building radio frequency for first responders: can provide 100% in-building radio coverage, exceeding the latest standards for emergency communications, including optimal two-way radio signal strength to first responders in hard-to-reach areas of a building.
  • Increases flexibility of a building’s ERCES system: offers versatility in frequency selection, power output (27dBm to 37dBm), wide band filters (up to 4BWA) single or dual band, and options with Class A and/or Class B, providing solutions that do not require rip and replacement for upgrades or changes in jurisdiction requirements, as well as configurations that allow the products to be integrated with fire alarm systems.
  • Complies with Buy American Act: meets the definition of Domestic Construction Material under the Buy American Act.

“Preserving proper communication between first responders in buildings is paramount in an emergency,” said Dave Walton, president, Data Division at Mobile Communications America (MCA), which installs and commissions Honeywell BDA systems for its customers. “Honeywell offers an ERCES solution family that is adaptable to changes in jurisdictions’ codes and saves us time on commissioning. It enables us to offer our customers an integrated platform with reliable coverage and no noise performance that helps mitigate potential communication mishaps that can occur during an emergency.”

The Honeywell BDA and Fiber DAS products are available through several Honeywell brands, including NOTIFIER, Honeywell Farenhyt Series, Gamewell FCI and Fiplex.