Building Materials Block Radio Signals

Fire, police, EMS, and other public safety personnel rely on two-way radios daily. Their safety, as well as the safety of the building occupants, depends on reliable communications. While public safety radio systems are designed to provide reliable outdoor signal coverage, indoors those signals are much weaker or non-existent. Building materials such as concrete, metal, low-e glass, and even drywall among other items degrade these radio signals. This causes spotty radio reception and transmission.

An ERCES System (Emergency Radio Communications Enhancement System) using a BDA receives a signal from the public safety radio repeater through a donor antenna on the building’s roof. The signal is then amplified and distributed throughout the weak signal areas of the building via coaxial cable, signal couplers, and antennas. This is also referred to as DAS (Distributed Antenna System).

Blocked radio signal strength
Example of radio signal strength blocked by foliage and construction materials, resulting in loss of radio communications between first responders and their command.