Originally posted on 5:08 PM on June 21, 2024
Last updated on June 24, 2024

BDA System Inspections & Maintenance

BDA System Inspections & Maintenance

By: Kati Bucciero on June 21, 2024
Last Updated: June 24, 2024

Maintaining Bi-Directional Antenna (BDA) systems, also commonly known as Emergency Responder Communication Enhancement Systems (ERCES), is crucial due to the dynamic nature of signal strength within buildings. Throughout a building's life, various factors such as structural changes, new obstructions, and evolving technological demands can significantly alter signal distribution. These fluctuations mean regular assessment and adjustments are needed to ensure optimal performance and reliable communication. Effective maintenance of BDA systems involves not only addressing immediate issues but also anticipating and adapting to these ongoing changes, ensuring required signal coverage and enhancing the safety and connectivity of building occupants.

Annual Inspections Required for BDA Systems

ERCES/BDA Systems must be inspected annually, and most procedures implemented during the commissioning and acceptance of the system must be checked including the following (learn more about the components of a BDA system here):

  • Signal strength from Donor Tower hasn’t changed
  • Frequencies from the Donor Towers are checked for additions/changes
  • Gain and RF Power settings match original accepted values
  • An RF test is performed to ensure all antennas are functioning as before (not necessarily a full Grid test)
  • Battery health of battery backup unit
  • All alarms are annunciating correctly

Five-Year Inspection for BDA Systems

Every five years, the following also must be performed:

  • The annual BDA system inspection scope
  • A complete RF Grid test - Existing coverage is checked along with any floors that did not receive antennas during installation.

The maintenance of BDA systems is a critical aspect of ensuring reliable and consistent signal strength within a building. Regular assessments, including RF tests, checking frequencies, alarm annunciation and battery health, all play a vital role in identifying and addressing areas with inadequate coverage. By proactively managing these systems and adapting to changes in the building environment, building owners and managers can enhance communication capabilities, ensure the safety of occupants, and support the increasing demand for robust connectivity. Investing in proper maintenance not only extends the lifespan of the BDA system but also maximizes its effectiveness, ultimately contributing to a more connected and efficient building infrastructure.

Trust the trained and certified professional at Century Fire Protection for your BDA system's maintenance and inspections. Contact us today!

Want to learn more about BDA/ERCES? Visit our blog or download the Ultimate BDA System Cheat Sheet below.

Ultimate BDA Cheat Sheet Download CTA


Topics: Fire Alarm, BDA