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ARCS or ancillary radio communications system question
June 14, 2019
Topic: New Dealer Program - Intruder Spray System - Providing Revenue Generating Security System For Alarm Dealers. Check out at 
When: June 19, 2019   12 PM to 1 PM New York time 
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ARCS or ancillary radio communications system
          NYC is now requiring an ARCS or ancillary radio communications system to be deployed in high rise. I know a FCC GROL or general radiotelephone operators license is required accompanied with the appropriate paperwork submitted to FDNY to become listed as a FDNY approved ARCS company is required. My question is do you have or planning to have an ARCS agreement and do you know if any other license is required for the installation and servicing / maintaining  ARCS, that is outside of having a NYC master electrical license. Throughout the remainder of the US while different but similar to NYC ARCS, DAS or distributed antenna systems are required and being deployed therefore the same questions would apply for outside of NYC. 
          In NYC where fire fighters were using warden phones or fire fighter phones located throughout the building on every floor in the stairwells and near the elevators, NYC now requires for lack of a better term an antenna system on channels 11 and 12 which are the two channels FDNY fire fighters communicate on with their existing Motorola radios. However, there is an alternative but not a good one. leaky coax without antennas is an acceptable alternative however this requires a two hour fire rated enclosure protecting the integrity of the cable and while the risers are fire already fire rated the horizontal cable runs on the floors is a very costly undertaking therefore not cost effective hence leaky coax is not being deployed.  
          The remainder of the US is deploying a distributed antenna system however not just on channels 11&12 and streaming to all first responders. DAS is also apparently going to be prevalent when the wireless service providers begin to deploy 5G. Apparently and according to an article I recently read in Forbes 5G is a very fast transmission however not very powerful and will unable to penetrate many structures therefore cellular service will be very limited in high rise structures and will require DAS to be installed to obtain connectivity. The wireless service providers have indicated they will not provide in building antenna systems for obvious reasons leaving it up to the building owner to deal with. Regardless if 5G will or will not penetrate, some form of antenna system will and in many states is already a requirement for first responders communications. 
          In my opinion a separate agreement for deployment and maintaining the communications system outside of a traditional Fire alarm or security system agreement is needed. 
          In NYC these systems are falling into the scope of work of the electrical contractor whom in most cases ultimately sub contracts the antenna system to a fire alarm vender. While it is a separate communication system alongside of the fire system. While in my opinion ARCS being a separate system still falls under life safety and a separate hold harmless agreement is needed here. 
Carl Lynch Pelaez 
Mircom Group of Companies
Cedar Grove NJ
          The Standard Fire Alarm All in One has included a provision for this communication service for a few years now.  Fire alarm companies with All in One forms from 2017 should have this provision already.  If your Fire All in One has not been updated since 2017 you should update.  There were many changes since 2016, and those using the Fire All in One from before 2014 are using an obsolete agreement.
          Commercial fire installations and the RMR services that are customarily performed once the fire alarm is installed and activated, are almost always governed by AHJ laws and regulations.  Enhanced communication system requirements are not limited to NYC, though I confess I am not aware of other jurisdictions.
          We cover the communication system in the Fire All in One ® by including this provisions:
           Check if system includes In-Building Wireless Communications Systems for Emergency Responders, Signal Boosters and Bi-Directional Amplifiers (BDA), which systems require testing and service.  See Schedule of Equipment and Services to determine if this service includes wireless system design, surveys, radio equipment installation, testing, coordination and permits with AHJ.  All references to the fire alarm system in this agreement shall include the In-Building Wireless Communications Systems for Emergency Responders ©
               A separate contract is not needed for the communication system.  Specifications will be in included in plans and specifications approved by the building department and fire department.  The same “protective provisions” to apply to the fire alarm systems and fire alarm services will be applicable to the communication system.  Note that you don’t use the Security All in One for the communication system; use the Fire All in One.  To update your fire alarm contract go to or call our Contract Administrator Eileen Wagda at 516 747 6700 x 312 or email her at

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Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301