What You Need to Know About Standpipes and Sprinklers

Firefighters can install either standpipes or sprinklers for fire suppression. There are many different types of systems, so understanding them is critical to a firefighter’s safety and efficiency. Here are some things to know about both types. This article will discuss classification, flow rate, interconnections, and reliability. And it will help you decide which system is right for you. To find out more, keep reading!

Classification of standpipe systems

The classification of standpipe systems varies from location to location and building to building. In general, any building over thirty feet high is required to have a system. Some local codes are even more strict than that. The connection point on a standpipe system should be located on each floor level and at every exit stairway. There should also be at least one riser in the roof, terminating in a two-1/2-inch hose connection.

Another classification for standpipe systems is automatic or semiautomatic. Automatic systems require an onsite fire pump and are permanently connected to the water supply. Automatic systems require an onsite fire pump and are more suitable for high-rise buildings and freezing climates. Automatic and semiautomatic systems are largely similar. They each have their advantages and disadvantages. However, if automatic standpipe systems are installed in your building, they are better suited for high-rise buildings with low temperatures and freezing conditions.

Flow rate

Standpipes or sprinklers can be either manual or automatic, and their nozzles have three different flow rates. Manual standpipes are usually installed in areas where firefighters can’t access the entire structure. Automatic sprinklers, on the other hand, are usually automatic, and must be inspected annually by a licensed fire protection contractor. Flow rate of standpipes is one of the most important considerations for a successful installation, so it’s important to know what you need before purchasing them.

Preliminary plans are often submitted with construction permits, and they may include details of standpipes or sprinklers. The requirements for the plans are specific to the building type, and they should be sufficient to meet building code requirements. For example, a building’s roof should be designed so that any standpipes or sprinklers will be able to discharge enough water in case of a fire.


When interconnecting standpipes and sprinklers, it is important to know the size and pressure of your water supply pipes. A building’s fire-fighting systems must meet specific NFPA requirements. Fire-fighting systems come in three basic classes: manual, automatic, and sprinkler systems. Manual standpipe systems are the most common, especially in larger buildings. The manual system eliminates the need to run a hose to a sprinkler. However, they rely on an external source of water and pressure, such as a fire department connection. As a result, they require an additional liaison, the fire department connection, or FDC.

Standpipes discharge water at a sufficient pressure to suppress fires. This pressure is sufficient to extinguish a blazing fire, but building codes require different pressure levels throughout a building. For example, lower-floor levels should be equipped with pressure-reducing valves. This is because the pressures at these levels are generally higher than at other floors. In addition, the standpipes’ discharged water has a high water pressure that may cause an overpressure in a lower-floor area.


Fire protection can save lives and property in a wide range of buildings. However, fire sprinklers or standpipes have many limitations. If installed incorrectly, these systems can lead to catastrophic results. Fire protection systems can either be manual or automatic. Some sprinklers have several advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to research each system before you buy it. Here are some common questions to ask yourself before you invest in a fire protection system.

o How reliable is the system? You should know the pressure, supply pipe size and location. When deciding on the type of system to install, you should consider the reliability. Ideally, standpipes will work in tandem with automatic sprinklers. However, they need regular maintenance to be efficient. Fire protection companies recommend that businesses use a certified standpipe manufacturer. This ensures the installation is up to code and safe.

Installation requirements

Installation requirements for standpipes or sprinkler systems in buildings are usually included in the building code adopted by the local jurisdiction. Most states adopt an edition of the International Building Code, either in its entirety or with modifications. These codes then become the city or state building code. Virginia references the 2012 edition of the IBC and amends it into its Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code. The most current edition is the 2015.

Installing standpipes is also similar to installing automatic sprinkler systems, which include initial acceptance testing. This test includes a hydrostatic and flow test. The contractor must provide the necessary equipment and perform the tests. In some instances, standpipe installations require the use of a fire department pumper that supplies the required pressure. If this occurs, standpipe installations must be tested regularly to ensure that they are safe.