Thread: High-rise fires

  1. #1
    Tillerman Guest

    Default High-rise fires

    In the wake of the Baltimore City high-rise fire, SOP's come to mind. I am interested in what other departments SOP's are for high-rise calls? Fire showing, fire not showing, automatic fire alarms, water motor gong ringing, when to charge standpipe and/or sprinkler connections, length and diameter of standpipe hose, type of nozzle, number of engines/trucks/heavy rescues/ambo's/chiefs..... Do you have the resources to combat a fire of this magnitude?-i.e.-Helicopters, staffing, callbacks, breathing air, salvage equipment, EMS supplies for the injured citizens and firefighters, temporary shelter for displaced occupants etc...

  2. #2
    billy Guest


    Most any large city has high-rise policies. Say, FDNY, LAFD, others. Check out their websites, and inquire. I would like to receive written info. as well.

  3. #3
    BIG PAULIE Guest


    I would like to give you some thoughts on high rise pumping. This is a topic that I have found that most departments are not aware of. This has to do with buildings that have pumps built into their systems. The common misunderstanding out there is that you pump your pressures based on the floor that the fire is on. Example, If the fire is on the 10th floor you add 5 psi per floor not counting the first floor. You then add 25 psi for the standpipe system, the friction loss for the lines from the pumper to the FDC and finally the pressures needed to pump what ever handline evolution is being used. Guess what, this only applies to buildings that do not have building pumps.

    A system that has a building pump has some type of clapper or one way valve system at the point where the discharge of the building pump and the inlet of the FDC come together to supply the standpipe. This valve is there to prevent FD developed pressures from back flowing into the building pump and further.Therefore the highest pressure at the one way valve is the pressure that will supply the building. If the building pump pressure is higher than the FD developed pressure the valve will stay closed to the FD side and the building pump will provide the water and the opposite will happen if the FD pressure is higher.

    Phase 2. So what do I need to pump to the building. This pressure is based totally on the churn pressure of the building fire pump. When a building pump fires up it goes to a predetermined maximum pressure developed for the building it supports. In order for the FD to take over a fire protection system in a building The churn pressure must be known and then surpassed. Example. if a churn pressure for the building is 175 psi the FD unit must pump a pressure higher then 175 to enter into the system. Any pressure lower will only create a static pressure for the FD unit.

    The city of Las Vegas ,where I work ,has developed a supplemental pump chart that shows all building churn pressures in our district and what the maximum pressures for each building is. There is no guess work or calculating.

  4. #4
    Chops Guest


    In regards to the fire pump issue, NFPA Code regarding Standpipes(I can't remember the #) Says that a pump should provide a minimum of 65 psi to the riser connections. If you do the math; A 150' of 2 1/2 Hose With a Smooth Bore tip of 1-1/8" will give you a tip pressure of 50 psi(which is right on for a smooth bore nozzle).
    As Paulie said, Identify the Standpiped Buildings in your response area and see if they have pumps or not. In the area I'm in, we haven't identified any buildings that have standpipe fire pumps, but things change so this is one of our items on our list we check for.
    Since we don't have any Pumped Risers in our area, we run 150' of 2" hose with a Elkhart Break-A-Way Select-o-Matic Nozzle. Our Back-Up person on the engine also carries an extra 50' of 1-3/4" hose with the same nozzle. This allows us 50' overlap since connections shall be positioned(by code..of coarse) so all parts of the building can be reached by 150' hose. Also remember, that 150' rule doesn't count hitting the connection a floor below like most(including our's) SOP's state.
    Hi-Rises are the most feared operation by most Officers because the can't watch the whole thing like a house. Any Hi-Rise in your first due is a sleeper hazard. Be Prepared.
    Maybe we'll talk about venting these suckers (downward plumes and the like) next week.

  5. #5
    natemarshall Guest


    Contact Capt Dave McGrail at the Denver Fire Department. They have many unique sop's and tactics for high rise. And they have an actual real working building to train in, including spending a day there with each academy recruit class.

    Denver has teh innovation others lack.


  6. #6
    Tillerman Guest


    Ok thank you all, But I was not looking for information on how I could do it better, I am interested in seeing what other departments do, and have you needed to pool all your resources on an incident of this calliber, and if so the results. Ie...Things learned from the fire and things done very well at the fire. These are things i am looking for and I apologize for not being clearer in my beging post. Thank you!!

  7. #7
    FFE3BFD Guest


    Our SOP's call for the first due engine to assume command and check the panel for location. First due truck co. to secure the elevators, and procced ot the floor below with an engine co.(could be first due if the B/C has arrived, if not, second due eng.) Truck co. equipment, irons, 6ft. hook and a water can. Eng co. with 200 ft. 1-3/4" with a 15/16 tip and the accesory bag. The truck "humps it" up the stairs and gives a progress report. Outside, the first due engine MPOs job is the sprinkler connection with a feed from the third due, second due, the stand pipe FDC. Second due truck works above the fire for ventalation, search and report of extension. Second due truck is dispatched only if it's a report of a fire or alarms with smoke in the building.
    As for control, the inital line is stretched from the floor below the fire, the back-up line from two floors below hence the 200ft.of hose. My officer likes to flake the hose up the stairs past the fire floor. (it makes dragging it down the hallway alot easier) At the door, the truck co. forces the door to the apartment across the hall first to aid in easier mobility of the inital line and a place for retreat if necasary.
    The staging area is the floor below for additional manpower and equipment. The command post is in the lobby.
    A fire in a high-rise in our area would usually be an automatic second alarm for manpower and cover assingments.


  8. #8
    Brian Humphrey Guest


    Originally posted by billy:
    Most any large city has high-rise policies. Say, FDNY, LAFD, others. Check out their websites, and inquire. I would like to receive written info. as well.
    You can access LAFD's Book 100, High Rise Operations Manual in PDF format, by clicking <A HREF="" target="_blank">here</A>

    Viewing that file will require your computer to have <A HREF="" target="_blank">Free Acrobat Acrobat Reader software</A>.

    Stay Safe!


    NO E-MAIL PLEASE. Thank you!

    [This message has been edited by Brian Humphrey (edited 12-30-2000).]

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