Florida gives developers more time to install first responder radio signal systems

Expensive upgrades can be postponed for several years.

April 27, 2016 |
Florida gives developers more time to install first responder radio signal systems

Photo: Phillip Pessar/Creative Commons.

New Florida building code legislation will allow building owners to postpone for several years a requirement for all new and existing buildings to provide minimum radio signal strength for fire department communications.

The code change that requires installation of necessary equipment and wiring in most commercial and multi-family buildings was to go into effect immediately, with no grace period. The provision, which necessitates opening up sections of walls and ceilings, has been estimated to cost over $1 million for some large structures.

A recently enacted update to the legislation provides for existing non-residential buildings to install the radio enhancement systems by Jan. 1, 2022, if owners submit their application for the installation permit by Dec. 31, 2019. Existing apartment buildings (including residential condominiums) are not required to install radio enhancement systems until Jan. 1, 2025, if they apply for the appropriate permits by Dec. 31, 2022.

The legislation now allows unit owner associations to stretch out special assessments over a number of years.

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