What Happens After ARCS Installation?
Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems, or ARCS for short, are emergency two-way in-building radio networks used by the fire department in high-rise buildings.
Communication is critical during a fire emergency and ARCS is the solution. They assist in FDNY radio communication through the whole building and remain functional even throughout power outages.
ARC systems are mandatory as of 2015 in all New York City buildings over 75 feet tall. They need to be installed by a professional, certified, maintained, and regularly re-certified. But getting an ARC system is a more complicated path, regulated by strict fire department and city council regulations.
To help guide you through getting your ARCS and what to do after it’s installation, let’s take a look at the complete process altogether. First, your communication system has to be approved by the FDNY in two main steps.
- FDNY Approval for ARCS Installation and Commissioning.
This first stage starts after your ARCS provider has built your system. The company will install your system and file the documentation necessary for the ARCS commissioning. This is the first step in getting your ARC system acceptance tested and officially certified by the fire department.
- Final ARCS Approval with Letter of Approval (LOA)
This is one of the most important steps for building owners. At the successful completion of this stage, you’ll receive your Certificate of Occupancy (COO).
After the installation and commissioning stage, the FDNY representatives will establish the date of the final on-site inspection of your radio system. Provided that your ARCS performs optimally, the fire department will award you with the LOA. This is your confirmation that your building is now eligible for a COO.
Navigating the Approval Stage – What You Need to Know
Once you have your LOA, your newly installed ARCS is functional and the process is complete. But to make sure you pass the approval stage, there are some key points you need to know.
One of the primary criteria for the New York Fire Department is the 2-hour fire rating. Your FDNY representative will thoroughly test your ARC system’s fire rating and make sure it will resist at least 2 hours during a fire emergency.
Your ARCS provider should know about this rule and adhere to it from the preliminary design of the system. RAU, the main part of the system, as well as the cables, must be installed in a designated room for the added fire protection. All additional jumpers, controls and power cables linked to the RAU require the 2-hour fire rating as well.
While this is among the most important, it isn’t the only criteria to get your ARC system successfully installed and certified. There are many other challenges to overcome along your way to and after certification.
Proper maintenance and regular re-certification are some of the most important ones. Given how the recertification of your ARCS is just as rigorous, you’ll need an experienced company to maintain your system in great condition.
At AG Technologies, we are committed to providing the solutions for ARC Systems.
Our services are cost-effective and reliable, delivered by seasoned industry experts. We cover everything, from the design and installation, to the regular maintenance and re-certification of your system.