Firefighting

Standpipe Operations: Facts and Fiction

Issue 8 and Volume 153.

By David M. McGrail and Gerald R. Tracy One of the challenges we face in the fire service is the consequences of new building construction throughout the United States. Much of this new construction has incorporated lightweight building assemblies into the design and overall strength of the structure. Unfortunately, many fire departments have little experience combating fires in these houses of cards. This new boom in building construction has also brought about an upsurge in structures that include standpipe systems as a means of water supply for firefighting purposes. Standpipe systems have been required, by building and fire codes, either because of the height or overall size of the structure. Many fire departments have limited experience operating handlines off these systems. Furthermore, most fire departments that have standpipe systems within their jurisdiction may have little or no opportunity to train with them. Ultimately, the knowledge and understanding of the function…

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