Q: Are firefighter emergency call phones still required in new construction? We have an existing hospital and management is wanting to add a whole new patient tower and the construction company is trying to say they are no longer required. I know the old system was the red phones and the new system is the plug in phones. Can you shed any light on this?
A: Generally speaking, two-way communications are only required in high rises according to section 220.127.116.11.1 of the 2012 Life Safety Code. However, section 18.104.22.168.2 allows for a fire department radio system installation in lieu of the fire-phones. Most AHJs utilize these radios so the method of two way communications in a high rise hospital must be coordinated with the fire department. Most will require the installation of a compatible radio system and will not require the fire-phones.