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  1. #1
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    Default FDC, Sprinklers, and Standpipes

    We all face some different situations when it comes to the fire service and what I am looking to discuss is the problems we are facing with some of the FDCís, Standpipes and sprinklers that we see out in the field. I would like any pictures you have and any stories on different problems you have faced when dealing with these things. What I am looking for is problems you have seen when using the FDC, Standpipes and sprinklers:
    Access problems
    Location Problems
    Operating Problems
    Shut off trouble
    Damage to and ideas to overcome them

    I will be putting a class on for my Dept (Livonia, Michigan), on the problems we all face with FDCís, Standpipes and sprinkler systems. If you could forward all your pictures and stories to me I would greatly appreciate it.

    Training Coordinator Tom Kiurski
    tkiurski@lfdmail.com
    Livonia Fire & Rescue
    Livonia, Michigan


  2. #2
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    If connecting to the FDC is not working, firefighters should be prepared to hook up to the first floor standpipe outlet.

    Off the top of my head, FDC connections can cause problems because of stuck caps, stripped threads, debris inside - there are appropriate ways to tackle each.

  3. #3
    Forum Member edge1317's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatherPierce View Post
    If connecting to the FDC is not working, firefighters should be prepared to hook up to the first floor standpipe outlet.

    Off the top of my head, FDC connections can cause problems because of stuck caps, stripped threads, debris inside - there are appropriate ways to tackle each.
    I don't understand. Isn't the FDC a connection to the buildings sprinkler system so you can bump up the sprinkler output? If I'm correct with this what does that have to do with having to hook up to first floor standpipe?

    Honest question, I've never dealt with standpipes but have with FDCs. Only knowledge of standpipe is for dem der books.

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    Early Adopter cozmosis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edge1317 View Post
    I don't understand. Isn't the FDC a connection to the buildings sprinkler system so you can bump up the sprinkler output? If I'm correct with this what does that have to do with having to hook up to first floor standpipe?
    Depending on the configuration, the fire department connection may supply the sprinkler system, the standpipe system or both. In a high-rise setting, there will obviously be a FDC to supply water to the standpipe so firefighting can take place on the upper floors.

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    FDC (Fire Dept Connection) is probably the most used term to refer to the exterior building siamese connection that is used to augment a sprinkler, standpipe or combination system.

    There are many things that would prevent you from supplying a standpipe via the standpipe FDC. If the FDC was inoperable, the standpipe could still be augmented by FD engines by connecting to the first floor outlet of the standpipe. Using whatever fittings/adapters are neccesary, firefighters can stretch a line to the outlet, open the valve and pump into the standpipe. Some departments even carry the required fittings in a bag, ready to go.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FatherPierce View Post
    FDC (Fire Dept Connection) is probably the most used term to refer to the exterior building siamese connection that is used to augment a sprinkler, standpipe or combination system.

    There are many things that would prevent you from supplying a standpipe via the standpipe FDC. If the FDC was inoperable, the standpipe could still be augmented by FD engines by connecting to the first floor outlet of the standpipe. Using whatever fittings/adapters are neccesary, firefighters can stretch a line to the outlet, open the valve and pump into the standpipe. Some departments even carry the required fittings in a bag, ready to go.
    Connecting to the first floor standpipe outlet is a tactic that MIGHT work if you are unable to use the siamese connection. It is not a tactic that will work all of the time, and it is not something that should be done automatically.

    There are many different ways that automatic sprinkler and standpipe systems can be configured. SOME systems will use a combined riser to supply sprinkler water and standpipe hose valves. OTHER systems will have separate risers. The risers may or may not be connected to eachother, and may or may not have check valves installed at their bases, which would prevent you from backfeeding a different part of the system by connecting to the standpipe outlet on the ground floor. In large buildings, particularly if additions have been built over the course of time, different systems may feed different wings of the building. Also, highrise buildings might have "low pressure" and "high pressure" standpipe zones feeding different floors of the biulding.

    The real "trick" is to know the buildings in your area, and pre-plan your response long before you respond to a fire. If a building has a sprinkler system and/or standpipe system, know where ALL of the siamese connections are located, and find out if it will be possible to backfeed the system from a particular standpipe outlet if it ever becomes necessary. If there isn't a knowlegable plumber to explain the system to you, the only way you can find out for sure is to follow the standpipe or combination risers to their bases, find the main that connects them, and find where it connects to the siamese and the primary source of fire protection water (public supply, on-site tank, etc.)

    There is almost no chance of doing this while you're in the middle of dealing with a fire. There is also almost no chance that your fire marshal, inspector, or company officer (if you do company inspections) will remember all of this information or be available at the time of an incident. The information needs to be recorded in some type of systematic way, and be available in a form that is concise enough, and convenient enough, to be accessed by the incident commander on the fireground.
    Last edited by GregMasters; 06-23-2008 at 03:30 PM.

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    Hey Greg, go to any urban environment and ask what they do................

    I will bet ya' they connect to the standpipe from the first floor connection so they can put the fire out.

    That is a play out of the old-time playbook that still works, "don't knock it 'till you try it"

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    This is a maybe tactic, I know there are some standpipes that have check valves in them that won't allow you to feed the system from the first floor. Not saying don't try it, but its not a 100% tactic.

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    Search Google Images "standpipes" you'll get some pictures you can use.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fire303 View Post
    Hey Greg, go to any urban environment and ask what they do................

    I will bet ya' they connect to the standpipe from the first floor connection so they can put the fire out.

    That is a play out of the old-time playbook that still works, "don't knock it 'till you try it"
    If you are trying to supply the same standpipe that you'll be operating off of... sure, this will work 99.9% of the time, unless you have a completely different problem, such as improperly adjusted pressure reducing valves at the hose outlets.

    If you are using this tactic to supply a sprinkler system, or a standpipe in a different stair, you may not be so lucky. If you are connecting on the first floor of a high rise building with a separate standpipe serving the upper floors in the same stair, you also might not get the water where you need it. I wouldn't think that advocating pre-planning and becoming familiar with the buildings in your district would be a controversial position.

    The original poster specifically asked about any difficulties or problems that might be encountered when using standpipes and FDCs so that he could review these issues for a class he was going to teach... it wouldn't be very helpful to just tell him to connect at the first floor outlet and put the wet stuff on the red stuff.

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