fdny radio system

Remembering 9/11: Why an ARC System Is an Essential Part of a High-Rise Building

As the 20th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy approaches, it is important to reflect on the events that occurred on that horrific day. Although the attacks could not have been foreseen, improving communication among firefighters could have prevented many casualties. The firefighters were unable to communicate effectively with the Fire Command Center  inside the Twin Towers resulting in failed evacuation efforts. As per the 2014 building code, New York City now requires the installation, testing, maintenance and certification of an Auxiliary Radio Communication System for all high-rise buildings — providing a reliable communication method for first responders to use during an emergency.

What Is an ARC System?

An ARC System is a two-way emergency radio network that is designed for first responders, especially firefighters, to use during a crisis. Because an ARCS uses exclusive FDNY radio frequencies, it prevents interference and allows for seamless communication among firefighters. They can communicate, even when separated by thick walls of concrete or steel, and no longer need to constantly switch radio channels in order to obtain a reliable signal.

What Are the FDNY ARCS Regulations?

According to the City of New York, high-rise buildings erected after December 31, 2014, require the installation of an ARCS. For commercial buildings, “high-rise” is defined as a building with a floor that is 75 feet higher than the lowest possible level of entry for the FDNY’s vehicles. A residential high-rise building is defined as taller than 100 feet.

How Can Allstate Sprinkler Help?

Understanding ARCS regulations can be confusing, but Allstate Sprinkler is here to guide you through the process. The first step requires the engineering and filing of a fully designed ARCS system with the New York City Fire Department. During this filing period, we’ll provide you with regular updates that we receive from the FDNY, resolve any objections from the FDNY and answer any questions that you may have. Once the FDNY has granted approval, we can then begin the installation process.

Upon completion of the installation, the final step is the inspection, testing and commissioning of the system conducted alongside the FDNY. This process can be lengthy and complex, but we work with you every step of the way to ensure that your building receives the final Letter of Approval.

With over five decades of experience and a long-standing reputation with the FDNY, Allstate Sprinkler is your most trusted choice. Our goal is to help you install a functioning ARC system and understand the responsibilities that come with establishing an FDNY radio system. Call us today for a free estimate.