Fighting fires in high-rise buildings can be a challenge. Some buildings are so high that they are beyond the reach of ground-based fire hoses and other firefighting equipment. Hauling a hose up several flights of stairs during a fire is only sometimes practical; it takes precious time and can hinder building evacuation efforts.
Standpipe systems are an important part of any building’s fire safety system. A standpipe system is a network of water pipes, hoses, and other components installed throughout a building to provide a readily accessible source of water to firefighters. Standpipe systems are required by building codes in high-rises in California and other states. They are an essential tool for combating fires on the upper stories of a building.
Standpipe outlets are typically located in stairwells, hallways, or other easily accessible areas on each floor of a building. The outlets feature hose connections that firefighters can attach their hoses to. Once connected, the standpipe system supplies high-pressure water directly to the firefighters’ hoses, allowing them to quickly and effectively control and extinguish a fire.
There are two types of standpipe systems, wet standpipe systems and dry standpipe systems. In a wet system, the pipes remain filled with water at all times so that water is immediately available to firefighters with no delays. In a dry system, the pipes are normally filled with pressurized air. Water is only introduced into the system when a firefighter connects a hose to an outlet. Dry systems are used in colder climates where freezing temperatures could damage water-filled pipes.
The specifications for standpipe systems are listed in the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)’s Standards for the Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems. The latest version, NFPA 14, was last updated in 2007. The NFPA lists three classes of standpipe systems:
Class I standpipe systems are installed for use by fire department personnel and are normally required in buildings that have more than three stories. They are required to have a 2.5″ fire hose connection, produce water pressures of at least 100 psi, and have a flow rate of at least 500 gallons per minute.
Class II standpipe systems are intended for use by building occupants or firefighters. These standpipe systems are normally found in specialized cabinets mounted on a wall. They have a 1.5″ hose connection. These systems usually have hoses already attached and ready for use.
Class III standpipes have both the connections of Class I and II. In many circumstances, these connections will include a 2.5″ reducer to a 1.5″ connection.
ASJ Industrial Hose and Fittings is a family-owned company that has been providing high-quality fire supply products to businesses all over North America since 1982. We carry all the products builders need to meet relevant safety and building code standards. In addition to our wide selection of fire hoses, we also offer adapters, connections and outlets, hose couplings, racks and reels, nozzles, and more. Our staff of knowledgeable representatives is here to help you find the precise components you need. We maintain a large inventory, so most parts are available for immediate shipping. You can reach us online or at (951) 735-1351. If you’re in the area, you can visit our Corona, CA facility at 1033 E. 3rd St..