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  1. #1
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    Default What is a high rise?

    What is a high rise according to the NFPA? When is it considered a high rise? Does it depend on highth or width or both? I have looked on many website and it seems to not be doing me any good. So i figured i would go to the best place to find out.


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    A high-rise can be different for every department.

    A high-rise is any building taller than your longest ladder can reach.

    For my department, a high-rise would be a 3-story building.
    For a neighboring department, a high-rise would be a 2-story house.
    For FDNY, a high-rise is a bulding that their tallest ariel ladder can't reach.
    Last edited by Workingfire22; 05-07-2005 at 12:13 AM.

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    Okay..that helps out a lot! Thanks! But is there a NFPA standard?

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    I think the point is that there is not one. In Memphis our SOP dictates any building 6 stories or higher - not because we don't have 100' ladders but because of the amount of manpower it takes when you begin carrying equipment up more than 6 flights of stairs.
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    I always understood it to mean anything that you cannot reach with ground ladders. So in our case, it would be anything over 35 ft (our biggest ground ladder).
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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Workingfire22

    For FDNY, a high-rise is a bulding that their tallest ariel ladder can't reach.

    A building over 75' tall is considered a high rise for FDNY.
    IACOJ Member

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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    we dont have a true hi-rise here ........in the Glass City I beleive it is anything over 4 or more stories, again not because of ladder height but manpower, I will clarify this when I go in here in a little and edit as necessary.
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    Although not a US standard...a High Rise in the UK is a Building that is over 60ft, which has to be fitted with a Dry Riser (Standpipe) anything over 205ft has to be fitted with a wet riser (Standpipe that is mains & tank fed). Our tallest ladder/Aerial is 115ft but a High Rise Building is classified on the height and not available ladders.

    We adopt High Rise Tactics for all Buildings over 60ft.

    *Using these figures, London has over 4000 High Rise Buildings. Using the definition of a High Rise agreed Internationally by the 'Emporis Data Comittee' it is every Building that is over 35M (114ft)...this takes London's number down to around 1,700. For more information look HERE
    Last edited by SteveDude; 05-07-2005 at 01:42 PM.
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    Unless your jurisdiction has made a legal amendment to the building code and fire code adopted, the following is the definition:

    “A building where the highest occupied floor level is 75 feet above the lowest level of fire department access.”

    NOTE: The quotes are mine as the various codes differ in how the definition is arranged. The 3 elements of a high rise that are common to ALL definitions are:
    (1) 75 feet,
    (2) highest occupied floor level, and
    (3) lowest level of FD access.
    BTW, The highest occupied floor level is NOT the roof.

    The following codes adopt this definition:

    NFPA 101 (Life Safety Code)
    NFPA 5000 (NFPA’s Building Code)
    International Building Code (IBC)
    Uniform Building Code (UBC)
    Standard Building Code (SBCCI)
    and I believe the BOCA/National Building Code (BOCA) also uses it, but I could not confirm it.

    This definition is the legal definition for code compliance and construction. A fire department may use a different definition for fire operations. If a fire department wants additional fire protection systems in a building of 5 stories, for example, they need to modify the definition during the adoption process of the building code in their jurisdiction.

    As far as NFPA is concerned, NFPA 5000 is relatively new and has been adopted by only a few jurisdictions. The Life Safety Code has been widely adopted for a long time.

    The key is; If the FD needs to have a certain fire protection system or device that is not required by the building code, the FD will have to negotiate the item with the owner. The owner can tell the FD to shove it, if they want. I know of a few jurisdictions that require (by way of their local ordinance) a breathing air system. Air is piped from storage tanks at ground level to the floors above. A SCBA change station (in a room dedicated for this) is provided at designated floor levels (i.e, every 3 or 5 floors). Since this is in the local adoption of the building code, the owner has little choice in the matter. The breathing air system is not required by the model building code.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you need more info.

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    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Weruj1
    we dont have a true hi-rise here ........in the Glass City I beleive it is anything over 4 or more stories, again not because of ladder height but manpower, I will clarify this when I go in here in a little and edit as necessary.
    For some reason I was thinking it was 5+ stories for Toledo.......
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    Forum Member Weruj1's Avatar
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    WHY DONT ASK THE schhhhhhhhhhhhhhhHHHHHHHHizter ?
    IACOJ both divisions and PROUD OF IT !
    Pardon me sir.. .....but I believe we are all over here !
    ATTENTION ALL SHOPPERS: Will the dead horse please report to the forums.(thanks Motown)
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    I'm sorry, I haven't been paying much attention for the last 3 hours.....what were we discussing?
    "but I guarentee you I will FF your arse off" from>
    http://www.firehouse.com/forums/show...60#post1137060post 115

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    Default re; high rises

    I believe also that a high rise, is not only when it is higher than your ladders, but you may also have accountability, and staging areas below the fire floor inside, possibly in a stair well. I fa anyone has any other facts let me know

  13. #13
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Clarification time........

    In Toledo, a typical High Rise is considered 6+ stories, but it also depends on how far the structure is setback from the street (i.e. a 4 story building that has a setback that is too great for the ladder to reach would be a high rise).........
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    While not the definition of high rise, there are many different buildings in my town that qualify for "high rise operations". For example, a two or three story hotel may qualify for high rise operations in that our engine will feed the FDC and the interior crew will take the "high rise pack" to the stand pipe in the stair well. This method is faster and easier than stretching from the engine, through the lobby, down the hall, up to the fire floor, down another hall, comming up short and having to go get the high rise pack to extend the line.

    How many others operate this way?
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  15. #15
    Forum Member firenresq77's Avatar
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    Originally posted by firenresq77
    Clarification time........

    In Toledo, a typical High Rise is considered 6+ stories, but it also depends on how far the structure is setback from the street (i.e. a 4 story building that has a setback that is too great for the ladder to reach would be a high rise).........
    And I got another answer from someone else that goes back to the 5+ stories, or less if a greater setback.......
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
    We are all adults so there is no need to act like a child........
    IACOJ

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    Hey thanks a lot! I got an "A" on my paper! thanks again guys/girls!

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    I do hope and pray that when my protoge comes to this forum seeking factual information, that he or she is not bombarded with a dozen "I thinks" and "I believes".

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