[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Schuylkill as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Article I Communications Amplification Systems
[Adopted 5-5-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-02]
The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this article and as used elsewhere in this Code, have the meanings shown herein.
- Association of Public Safety Communications Officials International.
- Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
- Federal Communications Commission.
- National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee.
Except as otherwise provided, no person shall erect, construct, alter, refit, change the use of, or provide an addition of more than 20% of the existing floor area to, any commercial, industrial or institutional building or structure or any part thereof, or cause the same to be done, which fails to support adequate radio coverage for Chester County Department of Emergency Services (CCDES), the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department, and the Schuylkill Township Police Department. For the purposes of this article, adequate radio coverage shall include all of the following:
A minimum signal strength of -95dBm available in 95% for the area of each floor of the building.
A minimum signal strength of -95dBm received at the closest CCDES radio communications site when transmitted from 95% of the area of each floor of the building.
The frequency range which must be supported shall be between 763 MHz and 861 MHz.
A ninty-percent reliability factor.
Signal strength measurements, for the purpose of measuring the performance of a bidirectional amplifier, shall be based on one input signal adequate to obtain a maximum continuous operating output level.
The provisions of this article shall become applicable upon notification to the property owner that unacceptable performance levels exist. The property owner shall have 90 days from date of notification to enhance radio coverage and bring it within the acceptable limits of these provisions.
Commercial, industrial and institutional buildings and structures which cannot support the required level of radio coverage shall be equipped with either a radiating cable system or an internal multiple antenna system with or without FCC type accepted bidirectional 700/800 MHz amplifiers as needed. If any part of the installed system or systems contains an electrically powered component, the system shall be capable of operating on an independent battery and/or generator system for a period of at least 12 hours without external power input. The battery system shall charge in the presence of an external power input.
Acceptance test procedure.
When an in-building radio system is required, and upon completion of installation, it will be the building owner's responsibility to have the radio system tested to ensure that two-way coverage on each floor of the building is a minimum of 95%. Each floor of the building shall be divided into a grid of approximately 20 equal areas. A maximum of two nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. In the event that three of the areas fail the test, in order to be more statistically accurate, the floor may be divided in 40 equal areas. In such event, a maximum of four nonadjacent areas will be allowed to fail the test. After the 40 area test, if the system continues to fail, the building owner shall have the system altered to meet the ninety-five-percent coverage requirement.
The test shall be conducted using the most current portable radio or its equivalent, available to the Schuylkill Township Police and/or Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department, talking through the CCDES as specified by the authority having jurisdiction. A spot located approximately in the center of a grid area will be selected for the test, then the radio will be keyed to verify two-way communications to and from the outside of the building through the CCDES. Once the spot has been selected, prospecting for a better spot within the grid area will not be permitted.
The gain values of all amplifiers shall be measured and the test measurement results shall be kept on file with the building owner so that the measurements can be verified each year during the annual tests. In the event that the measurements results become lost, the building owner will be required to rerun the acceptance test to reestablish the gain values.
Annual tests. When an in-building radio system is required, the building owner shall test all active components of the system, including but not limited to amplifiers, power supplies and backup batteries, a minimum of once every 12 months. Amplifiers shall be tested to ensure that the gain is the same as it was upon initial installation and acceptance. Backup batteries and power supplies shall be tested under load for a period of one hour to verify that they will properly operate during an actual power outage. If within the one-hour test period, in the opinion of the testing technician, the battery exhibits symptoms of failure, the test shall be extended for additional one-hour periods until the testing technician confirms the integrity of the battery. All other active components shall be checked to determine that they are operating within the manufacturer's specifications for the intended period.
Five-year tests. In addition to the annual test, the building owner shall perform a radio coverage test a minimum of once every five years to ensure that the radio system continues to meet the requirements of the original acceptance test. The procedure set forth above shall apply to such tests. A copy of the accepted tests shall be provided to the Chester County Department of Emergency Services.
Qualifications of testing personnel. All tests shall be conducted, documented and signed by a person in possession of a current FCC technician license, or a current technician certification issued by APCO, NABER, or PCIA. All test records shall be retained on the inspected premises by the building owner and a copy submitted to officials of the Schuylkill Township Police Department and the Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department.
Police and fire personnel, after providing reasonable notice to the owner or his representative, shall have the right to enter onto the property to conduct field testing to be certain that the required level of radio coverage is present.