What Is IFC 510 Building Code and How It Affects Your Building

Nearly all commercial buildings built in major cities or rural areas across the country must comply with the International Fire Code (IFC) 510 building code. It involves a test done by certified and qualified technicians. Typically, before your local government can issue a “Certificate Of Occupancy,” you and your chosen testers must submit a “Letter of Certification” to the local fire department saying your building has passed such a test.

Your contractor must be familiar with the most recent IFC 510 requirements to avoid embarrassing and costly project delays, fines, or loss of future business.

What Is IFC 510 Building Code?

IFC Chapter 5, Section 10 says that “All new buildings shall have approved radio coverage for emergency responders within the building.” This requirement allows first responders to have more reliable and effective building communications.

But how can you tell if your building is compliant with the IFC 510 requirements?

In North Carolina, new multi-residential and commercial buildings should have radio coverage to allow emergency personnel to reach them. Your building will be inspected by certified and trained technicians who use state-of-the-art, specialized equipment to measure Radio Frequency Signals transmitted from the local Digital Trunked Radio System.

If your building fails to pass this mandatory radio signal testing, your local authorities will ask you to install an Emergency Responder Radio System or ERRS – an independent booster system that penetrates all problem areas in your building. In addition, it must have a secondary power source capable of running the ERRS for at least 24 hours. If you’re looking for Motorola radios Greenville providers, you can check out Diversified Electronics. They provide a wide range of services and solutions, including two-way radios for schools, FCC Licensing, Installations, etc.

Who Certifies and Tests Buildings for the IFC 510 Building Code?

Any certified professional, including Radio Frequency engineers and test technicians, like Diversified Electronics, is qualified to perform IFC 510 testing. They use the most up-to-date and industry-standard test equipment. These professionals work closely with local fire officials to ensure their testing services are up-to-date and meet current requirements. Meaning, they will issue a “Letter to Certification” to local fire officials, certifying that your building has passed all testing.

Maintaining an ERRS

As a building owner, your responsibility doesn’t end after your establishment passed the IFC 510 test and is eligible for occupancy. According to the building code, “The emergency radio system shall be tested annually, or whenever there are structural changes, such as additions or renovations, that could change the original field performance tests.” 

This means that experts should inspect your building every year to ensure your equipment is functioning according to IFC 510 standards. With Diversified Electronics solutions, they offer annual inspections and maintenance contracts. Their engineering department can also design a new ERRS if you’re looking forward to remodeling or renovating your building. 

Who Pays for the IFC 510 Compliance Building Code Test?

As the building owner, you are responsible for arranging for these tests and paying all involved expenses. However, make sure to hire a company, which will help you comply with the IFC 510 building code. Many of these companies can even assist you in planning for an ERRS installation so that all equipment, including conduit, access panels, and rooftop access to an antenna system, are included in your construction budget and plans. To make the installation of ERRS easier, they can also help you with the pre-installation of components.