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Three Things to Know About Your Public Safety Radio Equipment

In the event of a building emergency, public safety personnel or first responders such as the police, firefighters and paramedics depend on public safety radio systems to coordinate their activities. While we often take these radio systems for granted, here are three things you need to consider about your system’s ability to operate safely during a fire.

1. Be Prepared if Power Gets Cut Off During a Fire

During a fire, the power is often cut off to the building to prevent further danger to first responders resulting in the interruption of service to the public safety radio system. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed the NFPA 72 standard which requires the Public Safety radio system made up of RF signal boosters, RF Repeaters and Bi-Directional Amplifiers to remain operational on a battery backup system for a minimum of 24 hours. If an AC generator is located in the building, then the battery backup system can be reduced to 4 hours...

NFPA 72 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code 2013 Edition Component Enclosures. All repeater, transmitter, receiver, signal booster components, and battery system components shall be contained in a NEMA4- or 4X-type enclosure(s). Power Supply Each box circuit or wireless receiving system shall be powered by one of the following:

(1)*Form 4A, which is an inverter, powered from a common rectifier, receiving power by a single source of alternating current with a floating storage battery having a 24-hour standby capacity

(2)*Form 4B, which is an inverter, powered from a common rectifier, receiving power from two sources of alternating current with a floating storage battery having a 4-hour standby capacity

2. Your Equipment Might Get Soaked

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In the event of a fire, firefighters will spray large amounts of water at high pressure over sensitive radio gear and cabinets which can destroy the emergency communications system if it is not protected by a NEMA 4 rated enclosure.

3. Not All NEMA 4 Cabinets are Created Equal

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Your cabinets need to do more than just protect your equipment from water. Without adequate ventilation required to vent excessive gassing released from the batteries, a cabinet can become extremely dangerous. Select a NEMA 4 cabinet with sealed louvers/vents to meet NEMA 4 watertight standards without trapping gasses.

Alpha Powers the In-Building Public Safety Radio System using NFPA 72 Compliant NEMA 4-type Battery Backup Enclosure

Alpha has developed a complete line-up of NEMA 4 enclosures that have been subjected to hose-down tests to ensure the cabinets are watertight and meet the weatherproof requirements of the NEMA 4 standard.

Our NEMA 4 enclosures are among the few anywhere that provide your batteries with the ventilation necessary to keep them functioning correctly without compromise. They are available in various shapes and sizes and can support either AC or DC powering system from 50W to 600W to provide up to 24 hours of backup time.

An example of an Alpha NEMA 4 certified battery backup system is shown below. Contact Alpha to discuss how we can help overcome your public safety infrastructure powering challenges.

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