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  1. #1
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    Default Highrise fire flows

    Why would you use a 150 gpm firestream for standpipe operations in a highrise structure instead of a standard 200 gpm firestream that is used in all other structures for an intial attack?


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    Forum Member PattyV's Avatar
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    Because you can?
    Beats me, maybe for water damage prevention or something?
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default Re: Highrise fire flows

    Originally posted by GDSmith
    Why would you use a 150 gpm firestream for standpipe operations in a highrise structure instead of a standard 200 gpm firestream that is used in all other structures for an intial attack?
    We do it here because 150 gpm is what we use as our standard flow. 9 out 10 times, thats plenty.
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    If your standard flow on structure fires is 200 gpm, I have no idea why you would want to flow 150 gpm at a high-rise fire. I think it is fair to say that you want to strive to flow more gpm's at a high-rise fire than your normal residential fires.

    Part of the reason is because there is a significant time delay to set up for battle at a high-rise fire. The fire is going to get a head start on your crews and you are going to need the gpm's to overwhelm the fire. Who said it should be a fair fight?

    There are some excellent articles on high-rise operations by Andrew Fredericks and Dave McGrail on Fire Engineerings site. You can go into back issues and read them for free.

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    Forum Member jerrygarcia's Avatar
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    I think that you're asking the wrong question or a little confused with the systems.

    The standard 'PSI' is 150 for standpipe systems. Systems are built to operate at 150 psi and tested at 200 psi according to your AHJ. It is to prevent damage to a system that you have limited knowledge of but gives you a baseline for operations.

    There is a great difference between PSI and GPM.


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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by jerrygarcia
    I think that you're asking the wrong question or a little confused with the systems.

    The standard 'PSI' is 150 for standpipe systems. Systems are built to operate at 150 psi and tested at 200 psi according to your AHJ. It is to prevent damage to a system that you have limited knowledge of but gives you a baseline for operations.

    There is a great difference between PSI and GPM.

    OK...So if he meant PSI, does that mean they flow attack lines at 200PSI on a regular basis?
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    GPMs are paramount at any type of fire but are especially important at high rise fires. At a high rise fire you will want to be flowing bear minimum 225gpm but closer to 250. Someone made a point about the fire getting a head start on you because it takes a bit longer to set up and operate. However high gpm requirements are required also because of the type of construction, high rises are fireproof buildings and the fire areas hold the heat creating a huge oven affect, therefore requireing large volumes of water. Another factor has to do with wind, on upper floors wind can force that fire onto you and you will want all the water you can get. Also you may have a long stretch up multiple floors , therefore a larger attack line (2 1/2) will require less pressure.

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    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    I personally would like to have the capability of flowing 200GPm and that is why we go with the MidForce low pressure dual pressure nozzle and 2" hose.....
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by captstanm1
    I personally would like to have the capability of flowing 200GPm and that is why we go with the MidForce low pressure dual pressure nozzle and 2" hose.....
    Us too, but we start at 150-160 gpm and adjust from there.
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    For high rise fires you want at least 250GPM. We are set up with 1 and 1/8 inch smooth bore nozzles for 267 GPM at 50psi Nozzle Pressure. We use 2 and 1/2 inch hose in 50 foot high rise bundles.

    A high rise fire will be well advanced and hot by the time you supply the standpipe, walk up stairs, find the fire and begin to flow water. You will want high flow. Read about Philadelphia's Meridan Plaza fire for disaters with high pressure and low flow at a high rise.

    I have a simple outlook, FDNY fights more high rise fires than anyone and they use 2 and 1/2 with smoothbores. Not I'm not saying what FDNY does is perfect for everyone and every call, but in this instance, their expertise is worth looking at.

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    I Am aware of the differance of GPMs and PSI

    Our dept's standard attack line is 200 gpm via 1 3/4" with a fog nozzle (200' crosslay is charged to 220 psi)

    Our standpipe standing order is to charge the system to 135 psi +5 psi for each story to compensate for elevation. Which would put 150gpm on a 100', 1 3/4" line with a break-apart fog nozzle (our SOP highrise pack, plus a wye, short section of 2 1/2" and various tool)

    So what im begining to understand is... My dept policy is more of a reflection of the fact that our tallest building is 7 stories and the fact that we have no structures over 3 stories that are not sprinklered.

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Originally posted by rtalma
    For high rise fires you want at least 250GPM. We are set up with 1 and 1/8 inch smooth bore nozzles for 267 GPM at 50psi Nozzle Pressure. We use 2 and 1/2 inch hose in 50 foot high rise bundles.

    A high rise fire will be well advanced and hot by the time you supply the standpipe, walk up stairs, find the fire and begin to flow water. You will want high flow. Read about Philadelphia's Meridan Plaza fire for disaters with high pressure and low flow at a high rise.

    I have a simple outlook, FDNY fights more high rise fires than anyone and they use 2 and 1/2 with smoothbores. Not I'm not saying what FDNY does is perfect for everyone and every call, but in this instance, their expertise is worth looking at.
    I must be missing something here. Why do you all flow such high GPMs on high rises? Is this your normal flow for a SFD? We have a BUNCH of high rises and we use the same flows as a SFD, just more EP to account for the elevation.

    As for FDNY or Philly, they have 50+ story, city block x city block high rises, we dont. I can understand why these large cities (and others) do what they do. I'm just trying to figure out why you would need a min of 250 gpm out of 2 1/2" hose on a 4th or 5th floor room and contents?
    Last edited by Dave1983; 06-02-2005 at 10:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Re: Highrise fire flows

    Originally posted by Dave1983
    [B We do it here because 150 gpm is what we use as our standard flow. 9 out 10 times, thats plenty. [/B]
    OMG!!!! Are you KIDDING!!! 9 out of 10 times that is enough!! Thats the worst argument I have ever heard.

    Standpipe systems were built(per NATIONAL CODE) for two things:

    1) 1 1/8 tip smoothbore nozzles
    2) 2 1/2 inch lines

    Using anything else is using the system in a way other than it was designed. At 50 PSI at the nozzle, this should deliver 266 gallons a minute.

    Originally posted by jerrygarcia

    The standard 'PSI' is 150 for standpipe systems. Systems are built to operate at 150 psi and tested at 200 psi according to your AHJ. It is to prevent damage to a system that you have limited knowledge of but gives you a baseline for operations.
    This is incorrect. Systems built prior to 1993 are built to only have 65 PSI availible at the top-most outlet. THAT is why we use 1 1/8 tips at 50 psi and 2 1/2 inch line.

    This and the common use of pressure reducing valves necessitate the use of these tools.
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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Default Re: Re: Re: Highrise fire flows

    Originally posted by OFD226


    OMG!!!! Are you KIDDING!!! 9 out of 10 times that is enough!! Thats the worst argument I have ever heard.

    Standpipe systems were built(per NATIONAL CODE) for two things:

    1) 1 1/8 tip smoothbore nozzles
    2) 2 1/2 inch lines

    Using anything else is using the system in a way other than it was designed. At 50 PSI at the nozzle, this should deliver 266 gallons a minute.
    Well OMG, EXCUSE me!

    So, your telling me that when we have a stove top fire in a 900 square ft apartment on the 4th floor of a high rise, we hould hit with a 2 1/2" flowing 250+ GPM?

    What ever

    BTW, for the 1 out of 10 that it isnt enough, we flow more (DUH).
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