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Complete Guide to Auxiliary Radio Communication System 

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In the towering skyscrapers of New York City, ensuring the safety and well-being of occupants is a top priority. This is where Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems (ARCS) come into play, serving as the unsung heroes of high-rise buildings. In this audience-friendly guide, we’ll explore what ARCS are, why they are essential for fire systems in NYC high-rise buildings, and how they comply with the strict FDNY codes. We’ll also dive into the design, installation, and maintenance of ARCS systems to help you navigate this crucial aspect of building safety. 

What is ARC Systems? 

ARC Systems, or Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems, represent a critical component in ensuring effective communication during emergencies, particularly in high-rise buildings. These systems are a lifeline for first responders, offering seamless radio communication and enhancing the safety of both building occupants and emergency personnel. Let’s explore ARC Systems in more detail. 

Applications of ARCS 

  1. Emergency Services 

ARCS is vital for emergency responders, including police, firefighters, and paramedics. When natural disasters or man-made crises disrupt regular communication networks, ARCS steps in to coordinate rescue efforts, manage resources, and provide updates to the public. 

  1. Public Safety 

In large gatherings, events, or crowded places, public safety officials rely on ARCS to maintain order and manage emergencies effectively. Concerts, sporting events, and political rallies all benefit from this backup system to ensure public safety. 

  1. Utilities and Infrastructure 

ARCS is crucial for utility companies, such as electricity, water, and gas providers, to coordinate repairs and restore services after outages. It plays a pivotal role in ensuring that essential services are quickly restored during disruptions.

  1. Transportation 

In the transportation sector, ARCS is used for communication between air traffic controllers, maritime traffic management, and railway operators. It guarantees the safe and efficient movement of people and goods. 

  1. Military and Defense 

The military relies on ARCS for secure and resilient communication in the field. It ensures that troops can maintain contact, even in hostile environments, and coordinates strategic operations. 

FDNY Requirements for ARC Systems 

The Fire Department of New York (FDNY) requires when it comes to ARCS systems in high-rise buildings

  • Mandatory Compliance: As per the 2014 NYC Building Code, all newly constructed high-rise buildings exceeding 75 feet in height are mandated to install and maintain an Auxiliary Radio Communication System (ARCS). This regulation applies across all five boroughs of NYC. 
  • Emergency Communications: ARCS serves as the emergency communication lifeline within the building. They facilitate radio communication, ensuring first responders can effectively coordinate their efforts during emergencies, such as fires or other crises. 
  • Continuous Operation: ARCS are engineered to operate continuously, even in the event of power outages. This uninterrupted operation guarantees that the vital communication link via FDNY radios remains accessible during emergencies. 

ARC Systems in NYC: Design, Installation & Maintenance Now, let’s explore the key aspects of the design, installation, and maintenance of ARCS: 


  • ARCS systems are strategically designed to ensure comprehensive radio signal coverage in high-rise buildings. This includes every nook and cranny, from elevators and stairwells to basements and other challenging areas. 
  • Redundancy is a fundamental element of ARCS design, guaranteeing that the system remains operational even if certain components fail. 


  • Expert installation is crucial for ARCS systems. A qualified integrator ensures that the system adheres to FDNY codes and building regulations. They strategically place ARCS components throughout the building to provide seamless coverage.
  • Integration with other building systems, such as fire alarms and building management systems, is an essential part of installation. This allows for coordinated responses to emergencies, triggered by alarms or alerts. 


  • Regular testing and maintenance are key to the reliability of ARCS systems. Authorized personnel, often with the help of an FDNY approved ARCS integrator, perform routine checks to ensure that all components are functioning correctly. 
  • Proactive monitoring and alerting features notify building management and FDNY personnel of any system issues or failures, ensuring the system’s continuous reliability. 


Auxiliary Radio Communication Systems (ARCS) are the backbone of communication in high-rise buildings throughout New York City. They are the silent protectors, ensuring that the flow of information remains uninterrupted during times of crisis. In a city known for its stringent codes and safety standards, ARCS play a pivotal role in fire systems, safeguarding the lives of both occupants and first responders. 

By adhering to FDNY codes, high-rise buildings ensure that ARCS are expertly installed and maintained. These systems are an investment in the safety and security of New York City, offering a lifeline to those in need during emergencies. So, next time you marvel at the iconic skyline of NYC, remember that within those towering structures, ARCS are diligently standing guard, ready to assist and protect at a moment’s notice. 

Contact an expert ASM Integrators 212-202-2565