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.
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.
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.