Standpipe or Not?

Not typical for stairway standpipes

We were recently going through a large senior residential occupancy. This occupancy has 7 wings and several different stairwells.

Not all of the stairwells have standpipes in them. Most were typical connections with a valve and 2 1/2 inch connection. As you can see in this picture, this one was not a typical seen in a stairwell.

At the left of riser you can see the standpipe connection. They basically put the sprinkler room in the stairwell.

If you weren’t familiar with this, a person might just start turning valves or just think that there is not a standpipe connection at all.

The point here is that not all standpipe connections are created the same. Nor are all sprinkler rooms in a closet.

Get to know your buildings and the systems that operate in them. You never know when you will need to use them.

5 Comments

  • Nate Q. says:

    This is somewhat common setup in my city. Usually they’re found in the ground floor or parking garage stairwell or access. I agree it could be confusing if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. The facility description you mention brings to mind one particular occupancy we hav…3 8-story towers, common underground parking, each bldg. with its own sprinkler and standpipe FDCs, 6 stairwells, each with a standpipe outlet/H20 shutoff valve, almost total elderly population. The one saving grace is that their managers and maintenance heads live on-site and are very organized with all the protection system information in one main alarm room. The other plus is that we tend to run a good amount of EMS and fire alarms there, and crews are constantly reviewing the layout/systems.

  • dc802 says:

    This building is not that tall, but has several stairwells. But, not every stairwell has standpipes. There is no parking garage and this is on the ground level, center stairwell.

  • Mike Morton says:

    Does anyone know if systems set up such as this one are more likely to have internal pressure-regulating devices, since the sprinkler and standpipe systems are integrated? Certainly might be something you’d have to ask some questions about in order to be prepared.

  • Jason says:

    Hey, great question and I will try to find out. Thanks.

  • Mike Morton says:

    I’m no plans review expert or anything, but I would think there’d be some sort of pressure regulation since the sprinklers and standpipes are not designed to operate at the same pressures, yet share risers and water supplies. I’m interested to see what you find, and I’m going to inquire as much as I can the next time I see a similar setup.

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Jason Hoevelmann

Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal with the Sullivan Fire Protection District, a combination department, and a career firefighter/paramedic with the Florissant Valley Fire Protection District in North St. Louis County.

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Comments
Jace Woodworth
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Yes sir Captain, Anything that all other Brothers & Sisters can place in their memory bank is a good thing!!! I'd be interested in seeing the rest of the story. Thanks, Jace Woodworth Robinson Illinois
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dc802
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Tim, I would like to hear the rest of the story.
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Tim Simon
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I have a story about a mayday that the Incident Commander never answered my MAYDAY! My MAYDAY lasted six minutes and twenty seconds and no one ever came into the building to look for me. The IC said he sent the RIC team right in, however at the five minute and thirty second mark they…
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There is academic research out there on portions of these systems; specifically the ropes. Feel free to contact the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute, Firefighter Life Safety Research Institute to get more information. We all are in this together, to keep firefighters safe.
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