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.


  • 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.

FE Talk: Humpday Hangout

Bertie Shiver Johnson
Cleveland School Fire of 1923
I have read this story over and over. I do genealogy and think I have some relatives..doing more research. Thanks for putting this out there.
2015-09-29 21:40:23
Jim lang
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Direct result of lowering the Standards also and giving everyone a chance! The Job is no longer a calling it's just a Job to many these days! No more Pride Tradition Brotherhood etc etc....
2015-09-20 18:21:25
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Saya setuju dengan pendapat dan pengalaman anda. Pekerjan rutin seorang petugas pemadam kebakaran adalah berlatih dan terus berlatih. Dan apabila di antara teman petugas pemadam kebakaran disini yang mempunyai materi latihan boleh kah saya meminta materi latihan pemadam kebakaran itu ? Salam kenal dari saya Petugas pemadam kebakaran bandara kualanamu international Medan Sumatera Utara Indonesia.
2015-09-20 17:13:40
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Two years ago I was being trained and tested on required performance. I was able to do all but a duties. I attended every training session, asked questions and researched matters related to fire fighting. I couldn't drag another fire fighter and I had trouble "throwing" a ladder from ground to roof. I was released…
2015-09-20 16:35:03
How Dare You!-We Can No Longer Tolerate Incompetence!
Excellent article, after 30 years on the job I agree. What has always bothered me was why do firefighters too often find themselves in trouble? Why are we on an ice covered roof when we could more easily and safely removed glass from the second story. Why open up a confined space of decades dried…
2015-09-20 14:10:34

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