Graybar is a national distributor of electrical and communications/data products and infrastructure, carrying hundreds of thousands of products from thousands of manufacturers. Graybar helps its customers to power, network and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency. Graybar can help streamline every aspect of a DAS project, saving time and money. They work with their national network of system integrators, third party operators, and installers to provide a turnkey solution – including design, carrier & public safety coordination, financing, project management, logistics, and system commissioning.
Q & A with Eric Toenjes, Business Development Manager for Mobility at Graybar:
SBC: Which problems do you focus on solving in the process of improving in-building public safety wireless communications?
Eric: While building owners currently struggle to understand public safety codes, and specifically the local enforcement of those codes, as well as determining whether or not a DAS system is needed for their buildings, the bigger problem they have is that they are largely unaware of the liability exposure they have in a building that doesn’t enable use of both 1st responder radio and cellular voice/data communications in an emergency. This includes the ability to dial 911 from a cell phone and communicate clearly with the dispatcher, receive mass notification messages, download critical infrastructure information about a building and transmit telemetry data from medical devices in addition to radio communications. The cost of a DAS for cellular and public safety is much cheaper than a lawsuit.
SBC: Do you have any products or services that can improve in-building public safety wireless communications?
Eric: Graybar has a wide range of products available that go into public safety DAS including cable, fiber, antennas, connectors and active components, but also UPS backup power, conduit for cable path survivability and NEMA enclosures among many other products needed. Graybar sells DAS equipment for public safety that fits buildings from very small to multi-million square feet including SOLiD, CommScope, Corning, ADRF and SureCall. We also work with and recommend best-in-class system integrators and installation contractors who can design, install, maintain and monitor these critical systems and offer lease/financing options as well as partner with the best 3rd party operators who provide financing/lease arrangements.
SBC: Why is it important for Graybar and others in the industry to get involved in the public safety arena?
Eric: Not only is public safety a rapidly growing opportunity but it is critical in creating a safe environment for both 1stresponders and all occupants of a building. The most valuable commodity in any emergency is time. Every second lost due to poor communications in a building allows the emergency to get worse. Police, Fire and EMS need to be able to communicate in order to be personally safe while responding to an incident and to facilitate their rapid and effective response. Information needs to be sent to the building’s occupants and they need to be able to provide information back to responders in an emergency. It is the responsibility of building owners to provide for the safety of the building occupants and the responsibility of integrators, contractors, A&E firms, consultants and distributors to help building owners/managers understand this responsibility and how they can increase safety in their building.
SBC: What inspired Graybar to join the Safer Buildings Coalition?
Eric: Graybar was introduced to the SBC through our work with SOLiD and their industry leading public safety DAS solutions. The opportunity to help shape and refine public safety codes as well as to help teach local AHJ’s about proper application of the codes was very compelling and important to Graybar. Just as Graybar is a leader with organizations such as NECA and BICSI in the electrical and structured cabling industries, involvement in the SBC can help improve the safety of buildings across the country.
SBC: What would you say to others in the industry considering joining the Safer Buildings Coalition?
Eric: Don’t delay in joining this important organization. You will learn about the industry, network with those who are active and knowledgeable about the solutions and help your organization improve the safety of your buildings. You will be supporting this valuable effort.
SBC: How can others contact you about your products and services?
Eric: Visit any of our over 260 branch offices in the U.S., your local Graybar Sales Representative, visit our website at graybar.com/das or call us at 1-800-GRAYBAR (427-9227). You can also reach Eric Toenjes, Business Development Manager for Mobility at firstname.lastname@example.org or 314-346-2470.
To learn more about Graybar's products and services, visit their website at www.graybar.com.