What’s Behind the Rack?

Can you identify the problem here?

During a recent visit to one of those large home improvement stores, I noticed this.

Although this is probably not that uncommon, it is something that could be very difficult to find out in a smokey envrionment.

This is another reason for getting familiar with your area and the buildings that you protect.

I was visiting as a patron, so I didn’t look around at the entire store, but I am sure there are other issues that I could have found.

Accessing this stand pipe is almost impossible and these systems aren’t always that reliable and shouldn’t be your sole suppression plan. †They don’t get maintained and are rarely, if ever flushed and tested.

A tight fit!

But, that doesn’t excuse the blocking of this protection system. One way to find these standpipes is to look for their risers. These stores will typically have two of these at each end of the store.

Notice the riser running behind the rack.?

Have a plan for these large area stores. Know the building and it’s systems so that you aren’t caught off guard.

Preplan these buildings. Know what line your going to pull before you arrive and know the different access points for entry. The front door may not be your best option.

Stay diligent and be safe.

2 Comments

  • Lance C. Peeples says:

    Good catch. In most circumstances it’s probably not a good idea to hook up to these types of standpipes anyway. A far safer option is to stretch from the engine. If you hook up to the standpipe in the middle of a large showroom and conditions deteriorate you may find yourself stranded in the middle of a 80,000 square foot showroom and unable to locate the exit. If you stretch from the apparatus you can hopefully follow the line back to the exit. A caveat is in order here, however, in that it is very easy for stock and shelving to fall over and make following the line out difficult. Stay safe, Brothers.

  • dc802 says:

    Thanks Lance, you bring up some great thoughts, as always. Thanks for your input and stay safe. We need to get a beer sometime. Take care, Jason.

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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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