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A Guide to Smoke Alarms and BDA Systems

Smoke alarms are one of the most common and necessary security and safety features in any building. Knowing that you have a functioning, robust smoke alarm and fire detection system can be a huge relief and make your building’s occupants feel safe. And knowing the proper placement, assessments, and supplements (BDA’s) to your fire alarm systems is a must for any property.

Where to Place Smoke Alarms

Fire codes are rigorous when it comes to where you need to place your smoke alarms. Ideally (and though there may be some variances in requirements based on where you live), fire alarms should be placed:

  • On every floor.
  • In every hallway.
  • In every office.
  • In every storage area.
  • In every bathroom.
  • In every stairway.
  • Indoor car parking area.
  • Or in any other room where a fire could start.

Of course, there are always nuances and technicalities for every construction, so it’s best to consult the Illinois Fire Code for more information. 

But fire alarms are just one part of the fire-safety picture. Ensuring that, should a fire happen on your property, first responders can communicate with each other to save lives is key.

What are BDA Systems

In an emergency situation, it’s crucial that first responders are able to communicate effectively with each other inside the building, and with their command centers outside the building. Sometimes, however, buildings are either poorly equipped for easy communication, or are full of dead zones. BDA systems can help alleviate those concerns. 

BDA systems, or Bi-Directional Amplifier systems, are a signal boosting system that is designed to enhance and improve the frequency and signal coverage of public safety radios. There are two types of BDA systems: two-way radios and cellular. 

  • Two-way radios provide your building with powerful radio signals for first responders. They are very reliable and give off powerful radio signals to help make sure your building and its occupants are safe. 
  • Cellular BDA’s help you to fix any dead zones in coverage within your building. Cellular BDA’s simply boost cellular coverage in buildings where there are a lot of dead zones or cell coverage isn’t very reliable. 

How LaMarco can help

When you’re installing your smoke detectors, BDA’s, and installing other fire systems, it’s important to consult with professionals so you can make sure the job is done right. LaMarco offers an extensive package for fire systems ranging from smoke alarm installation, to testing and code inspections. No matter what your building or business needs, LaMarco can help.