UL Listing, Specialty Licensing Discussed at Broward County, Fla., BDA Committee Meeting

Broward MeetingPosted on March 1, 2019
Non-Listed BDAs require Third-Party Field Evaluation after April 19, 2019 - New Specialty License Discussed

The Safer Buildings Coalition attended the meeting of the Broward County BDA Committee, a committee under the Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals (BORA), on Tuesday, February 26th. Among the issues discussed were UL 2524 listing of BDAs and specialty licensing for BDA contractors under the Electrical Contractors Licensing Board. 

Download the Agenda for the Feb 27th BDA Committee meeting here

Key Notes About UL 2524 in Broward County

  • UL 2524 -  Standard for In-building 2-Way Emergency Radio Communication Enhancement Systems - received ANSI approval on October 19, 2018
  • These requirements cover products (e.g., repeater, transmitter, receiver, signal booster components, remote annunciators and operational consoles, power supply, and battery charging system components) used for in-building 2-way emergency radio communication enhancement systems installed in a location to improve wireless communication at that location.
  • Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals (BORA) approved an interpretation of the code that stated that for BDA systems, plans shall be signed and sealed by a licensed professional engineer, and that the formal interpretation (FI) shall remain in effect for 6 months (until April 19, 2019).
  • Effective April 19th, 2019, ALL specifications submitted for BDA systems for permitting AFTER that date will be required to be UL 2524 compliant.
  • Any (non-listed) BDA System can still be certified by a third-party Field Evaluation Company using NFPA 790- and 791.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. David Rice, P.E.. Many attendees familiar to the industry participated in the lively meeting, including several Safer Buildings Coalition members. Representing the Safer Buildings Coalition was Executive Director Alan Perdue and General Manager John Foley.

Committee Chair David Rice is a Safer Buildings Coalition member and a member of the AHJ Toolkit subcommittee of the SBC's Education Work Group.

Also present were BORA Board Members Bryan Parks, Broward Chief Compliance Officer, and Kenneth Castronovo, Chief Electrical Code Compliance Officer, who is also a Safer Buildings Coalition member.

The purpose of the BDA Committee is to establish consistent interpretations and rules pertaining to public safety booster systems.

The following memo will be effective April 19, 2019:

Subject: Formal Interpretation# 20 Expiring April 19, 2019
Date: January 31, 2019
To: All Bi-Directional Amplifier Interested Parties
From: Kenneth Castronovo, Chief Electrical Code Compliance Officer

Broward County formal Interpretation #20 (Fl #20) will expire April 19, 2019. Fl #20 allows the Engineer of Record to certify BOA Systems equipment for AHJ approvals up to six months after a standard is issued by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory. UL Standard 2524 was issued on October 19, 2018. The extension deadline for Fl #20 is rapidly approaching. All specifications submitted for BOA systems for permitting after the above date will be required to be UL 2524 compliant. Any BOA System can still be certified by a third-party field evaluation company using NFPA 790 and 791 . Third-Party Field Evaluation companies shall be accepted by the Authority Having Jurisdiction to perform Field Evaluations.

Kenneth Castronovo

BDA Committee Receives Memo from the Electrical Contractors Licensing Board. TOPIC: Establishing a Specialty License for "BDA" Contractors 

The following memo was made part of the record and the topic also discussed at the meeting: 

Subject: Electrical Contractors Licensing Board General Meeting
Date: February 26, 2019
To: Broward County Board of Rules and Appeals Bi-Directional Amplifier Committee
From: Kenneth Castronovo, Chief Electrical Code Compliance Officer

The general meeting of the Electrical Contactors Licensing Board was held on January 25, 2019 in Fernandina Beach, Florida. A continuation of discussion concerning establishing a specialty license for the Bi-Directional Amplifier industry. It was agreed that the title of the specialty would be "Two-Way Radio Communications Enhancement Systems". Other discussions were on how many licenses would be issued for this specialty. There were no other issues brought up at this time and the Board voted in favor to name the specialty "Two-way radio Communications Enhancement Systems". 

The next Board meeting will be on March 20-22, 2019 in Howey in the Hills, FL. 

Kenneth Castronovo

The Safer Buildings Coalition will continue to attend and engage these important meetings and update its members on the issues being discussed.  The meetings are open to the public, and public comment is encouraged.