RENT Magazine Q2 '21

PUBL I C SAFETY COMMUN I CATI ONS REQU I REMENTS FOR CERTI F I CATE OF OCCUPANCY A Certificate of Occupancy is needed to move tenants into new apartment buildings or apartment buildings that have just been purchased. This certificate is granted after inspection by the local Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and serves as proof that a property has complied with all relevant building and zoning codes.

It is not uncommon for AHJs to discover problems that prevent them from issuing a Certificate of Occupancy. In those cases, the AHJ will list the deficiencies and give a deadline for them to be resolved, such as 60 days, at which time the building owner/contractor must schedule a new inspection with new fees. To pass fire safety regulations in a Certificate of Occupancy inspection, contractors and building owners need to ensure there is adequate public safety signal coverage so first responders can communicate on their radios throughout the building when responding to an emergency. Frequently, construction materials or environmental obstructions block the public safety signal from

penetrating the building. For example, LEED or steel construction materials, nearby buildings, hilly terrain, or interference from multiple cellular towers in the area may impede the signal. Public Safety Communications Solutions Are Not All the Same Regulations vary from one location to another, but it is common for AHJs to require the installation of an Emergency Responder Radio Communication System (ERRCS) in large buildings. This was found to be the case when Powernet, an Ohio-based provider of public safety and telecommunications equipment and services, was brought in to provide a solution required by the

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