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A couple of questions: 1) On your highrise pack, are most carrying combo nozzles or straight tip? And why? 2) I sorting through some SOG's and saw that our highrise guideline for connecting to the standpipe tells us to connect on the floor below and stretch up the stairs to the floor above and then attack on the fire floor. Now I have had classes explaining flaking up so you have gravity working for you, and I don't know why I haven't noticed this before, the connecting on the floor below is new to me. Granted, we don't fight very many highrise fires, but going over the equipment one day made me start to want to refresh. The last HR class I attended also recommended smooth bore for reach and penetration. My superior doesn't agree. Any experiences and comments welcome. Thanks.

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On our high rise packs we have Task Force Tips low pressure combo nozzles. We've got the ones that operate at 50PSI and flow like 70-180GPM. The reason we have them is because a few years ago a neighboring department looked at their high-rise pack and determined that the nozzles require 100PSI for an effective stream. Being that most of the standpipe systems aren't getting 100PSI at the floor connection that proved to be a huge problem! There's more to the story but it refers to an incident that I'm not going to discuss.

2. We have the same SOP for high-rise operations.

I have one suggestion for your high-rise pack. Being that all high-rise structures have different standpipe systems and pressures it's best to have something that tells you what pressure you have at the floor connection. We use a water thief with a pressure gauge. The water thief allows you to run additional lines on the fire floor without turning off the system. In addition, the pressure gauge allows you to see what the standpipe is flowing so you can increase or decrease pressure to your handlines for safety. Here's a pic:


Jason
A smooth bore nozzle is the prefered weapon of selection for standpipe operations, whether a hi-rise or a warehouse for different reasons. One is the debris found in standpipes, if you have ever gone on a run where the sprinkler system has activated, what did the water look and smell like? Stagnant water sitting in a standpipe system will be full of debris from the pipe. Another concern is the stuff that people put in the standpipes, in some areas people have been know to hide items (needles, drugs, etc.) in a standpipe. How many times have you seen FDC's that are missing caps and what has been put into it, rocks, paper, etc. All of the these things have the potential to clog up our nozzles, the smooth bore gives us the best chance in passing those items through.
You mentioned the reach and penetration of a smooth bore, many of the areas in hi-rise or standpipe operations are large uncompartmentalized areas, for those large areas you need the reach, penetration and gpm produced by a smooth bore. As Jason Gennaro mentioned the psi needed to operate the combo nozzle to get the appropriate gpm is often not available in standpipe operations. With a smooth bore you can get adequate gpm at lower nozzle pressures. Some type of device that measures the pressure at the standpipe is recommended.
As for where you make your connections, you always want to make your connection at least one floor below your fire floor. Connecting on the fire floor creates some potential safety issues, often times you will find the standpipes on the floor, not it the stairwell, if you cannot contain the fire and the fire extends to the hall you have the potential of the fire burning up your line or firefighters in trouble trying to follow a hoseline out will still be in the hall and not the stairwell. You have to be carefull stretching to much hose up the stairwell above the fire floor also, if fire has taken the hall and you open the door to the fire floor, the flame, heat and smoke are going to extend up the stairwell.

Hope this helps,
Stay Safe Brother!
Thanks, both posts are great. We are a bedroom community with one true highrise. Therefor, we don't do much of it. Thanks for the info.
Jason

Ricky Teter said:
A smooth bore nozzle is the prefered weapon of selection for standpipe operations, whether a hi-rise or a warehouse for different reasons. One is the debris found in standpipes, if you have ever gone on a run where the sprinkler system has activated, what did the water look and smell like? Stagnant water sitting in a standpipe system will be full of debris from the pipe. Another concern is the stuff that people put in the standpipes, in some areas people have been know to hide items (needles, drugs, etc.) in a standpipe. How many times have you seen FDC's that are missing caps and what has been put into it, rocks, paper, etc. All of the these things have the potential to clog up our nozzles, the smooth bore gives us the best chance in passing those items through.
You mentioned the reach and penetration of a smooth bore, many of the areas in hi-rise or standpipe operations are large uncompartmentalized areas, for those large areas you need the reach, penetration and gpm produced by a smooth bore. As Jason Gennaro mentioned the psi needed to operate the combo nozzle to get the appropriate gpm is often not available in standpipe operations. With a smooth bore you can get adequate gpm at lower nozzle pressures. Some type of device that measures the pressure at the standpipe is recommended.
As for where you make your connections, you always want to make your connection at least one floor below your fire floor. Connecting on the fire floor creates some potential safety issues, often times you will find the standpipes on the floor, not it the stairwell, if you cannot contain the fire and the fire extends to the hall you have the potential of the fire burning up your line or firefighters in trouble trying to follow a hoseline out will still be in the hall and not the stairwell. You have to be carefull stretching to much hose up the stairwell above the fire floor also, if fire has taken the hall and you open the door to the fire floor, the flame, heat and smoke are going to extend up the stairwell.

Hope this helps,
Stay Safe Brother!
In ST. Louis sop is 50' 2 1/2 or 3"" with a gated wye, 2X 50' of 1 3/4" with an adjustable tip in pre made packs. Same for the back up line which connects into the first companies 2 1/2" with gated wye. The third line in is to be 150' of 2 1/2" or 3" with adjustable tip.
We also attach to the floor below, but pull the first section up the middle vertically instead of the stairs and over the rails if you can, I know in some you wont because the mid rail will be a wall, because this will give you more line for entry. Once at the attack/entry point we lay the slack line "un-charged" up the next flight of stairs then back down to the entry point door in a loop. The reason for "laying out the line up the stairs going up from the attack point" is because a charged hose line has a lot of weight to it, and pulling the weight vertical from the floor below is a lot harder than pulling it horizontal, so why not lay it up hill before charging it and then let gravity help you advance the line.
I too would like a smooth bore for high rise, but the sop is a adjustable, the reason they give is you can use the adjustable for horizontal ventilation. I would rather use the smooth bore not just for reach, but also steam production (which while positive to some, leads to steam burns for others), but also with standpipes with pressure restrictors, and friction loss, you need less pressure to get a proper stream with a smooth bore, but I don't get to write sop's.
Check out FDNY high rise proceedures if you want some documentation on reasons for smooth bore in high rise.
I also believe some departments like all big lines in high rises...again I get the logic, but my dept. has its own sop.
One possible compormise might be to get a tip that allows you to remove the adjustable tip and have a smoothe boore behind it. One where the adjustable screws onto a base nozzle that is smooth bore.
Hey Brother

First of all. Please check out the High-Rise Group, perhaps many of your questions can be answered by the conversations we've had there.

A couple of major reasons for the smoothbore on standpipes:

First and the main reason is because a fog nozzle will clog. Standpipes are notorious for the major rust scale that builds up within them. It's call taberculation (Don't hold me to the spelling) Huge chunks of this rust will break off which will clog the nozzle. Big time problem. Can't stress it enough

Second reason is because NFPA 14, the Standpipe standard states the line used should be a 2 1/2" with a 1 1/8" smoothbore. So a fog nozzle is the square peg in the round h***. Systems installed prior to 1993 only have to have 65 psi at the standpipe discharge. This would be woefully underpressured for a smaller line and most fog nozzles require higher then 65 to operate. Buildings constructed after 93 will have 100 psi at the discharge but that is still too low for the smaller lines with a fog nozzle.

The smoothbore on the 2 1/2" can give an effective stream with as low as 45 psi. The stream won't be great but it will give you a decent stream.

I would highly recommend Dave McGrail's book, "Fire Department Operations in High Rise and Standpipe Buildings." It is extremely well written. It is published by Fire Engineering.

Hope this helps
My Dept runs with (3) light weight 2 1/2" fold ups per engine for standpipe operations, equipped with a smoothbore nozzle with a 1 1/8" top and a standpipe bag. Each bag holds various tools you may need for connecting to the system. Bag includes wooden door chocks (you need a minimum of 3 to 4), hand wheel (in case its missing), (2) 2 1/2" spanners, light weight pipe wrench, 1" webbing or hose straps, 2 1/2" male pipe thread to 2 1/2" male national standard thread adapter, wire brush, 2 1/2" elbow, and a 2 1/2" in-line pressure gauge. One of the most important tools is the pressure gauge if you don't know what pressure your giving you have no idea what GPM your putting on the fire.
As far as using a fog nozzle think of it this way, automatic fog nozzles are designed to give you a good stream pretty much no matter what the pressure is. This gives you a false sense of security not knowing what your really putting on the fire. Besides the obvious issue with debris clogging the nozzles. The systems are designed for 2 1/2" and smoothbore nozzles. A high-rise can not be treated as if just another fire, usually very high heat (BTUs), and your delay in getting to the actual involved floor, setting up etc puts you behind the eightball. Not to mention manpower issues etc. You want the most bang for your buck, if that apartment door is open and the fire is into the common hall you need the GPM, reach and penitration of the smoothbore on a 2 1/2" line. Add some wind and it could become deadly without the needed GPM.
As far as hooking up on the floor below, there are very few never and always in the fire service this is for sure one of them. NEVER hook up on the fire floor or above the fire, if you loose water, or any other issues arrise and your nozzle team goes to back out they have to find the stairs in a hurry! And I agree on the Dave McGrail's book, "Fire Department Operations in High Rise and Standpipe Buildings." It will pretty much answer everything you have asked and much more... Hope this helps ya... Good luck!
Thanks to everyone for the information. It has been a great review. We simply don't see much in the way of highrise fires, but we do have the potential. Thanks again.
jason,
Who is the manufacturer of the water thief in your picture? I like that concept vs. the gated wye with only 1 3/4" outlets. Thanks for the info!

Jason Gennaro said:
On our high rise packs we have Task Force Tips low pressure combo nozzles. We've got the ones that operate at 50PSI and flow like 70-180GPM. The reason we have them is because a few years ago a neighboring department looked at their high-rise pack and determined that the nozzles require 100PSI for an effective stream. Being that most of the standpipe systems aren't getting 100PSI at the floor connection that proved to be a huge problem! There's more to the story but it refers to an incident that I'm not going to discuss.

2. We have the same SOP for high-rise operations.

I have one suggestion for your high-rise pack. Being that all high-rise structures have different standpipe systems and pressures it's best to have something that tells you what pressure you have at the floor connection. We use a water thief with a pressure gauge. The water thief allows you to run additional lines on the fire floor without turning off the system. In addition, the pressure gauge allows you to see what the standpipe is flowing so you can increase or decrease pressure to your handlines for safety. Here's a pic:


Jason
Elkhart Brass makes the water thief. Here's some more info on them:

http://www.elkhartbrass.com/products/appliances/water-thiefs/brochures

http://www.elkhartbrass.com/files/aa/downloads/catalog/catalog-f-04...

I hope this helps. Take care bro.

Jason

Ricky Teter said:
jason,
Who is the manufacturer of the water thief in your picture? I like that concept vs. the gated wye with only 1 3/4" outlets. Thanks for the info!

Jason Gennaro said:
On our high rise packs we have Task Force Tips low pressure combo nozzles. We've got the ones that operate at 50PSI and flow like 70-180GPM. The reason we have them is because a few years ago a neighboring department looked at their high-rise pack and determined that the nozzles require 100PSI for an effective stream. Being that most of the standpipe systems aren't getting 100PSI at the floor connection that proved to be a huge problem! There's more to the story but it refers to an incident that I'm not going to discuss.

2. We have the same SOP for high-rise operations.

I have one suggestion for your high-rise pack. Being that all high-rise structures have different standpipe systems and pressures it's best to have something that tells you what pressure you have at the floor connection. We use a water thief with a pressure gauge. The water thief allows you to run additional lines on the fire floor without turning off the system. In addition, the pressure gauge allows you to see what the standpipe is flowing so you can increase or decrease pressure to your handlines for safety. Here's a pic:


Jason
Jason, I like that you are using a device to give you indication of pressure on the discharge side of the standpipe outlet however, I have some concerns with the water thief set up.
1) When you are using a water thief in the manner in the photograph the 2 lines require drastically different pressures. so although there is a guage are you pumping for the 1 3/4 or 2 1/2?
2) The use of 2 1/2 hose and 50 psi nozzles are a terrific low pressure attack line combination. When two - three lines are flowing thru a water thief, wye or manifold device, higher pressures will be required (up to 25 psi) that the outlet may not have available. Although the outlet you have photographed is not a PRV or PRD other factors could give you less than desired pressures at the outlet. Remember 1 Meridian Plaza had an estimated outlet pressure of 45 psi and NFPA 14 only requires 65 psi residual for buildings build pre 93'. With 150 of 2 1/2 (15 psi friction loss) plus a 50 psi nozzle you are already at 65psi. There simply may not be enough to add other devices

In summary my recommendation would be to use a simple 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inline pressure guage with one attack line operating. Stretch the 2nd line from the next floor below at another outlet. Each line has its own outlet and pressure guage, just like operating off the pumper. After all you would not operate a 2 1/2 and 1 3/4 off the same outlet of the engine would you?

Respectfully,

Daryl
Daryl Liggins said:
Jason, I like that you are using a device to give you indication of pressure on the discharge side of the standpipe outlet however, I have some concerns with the water thief set up.
1) When you are using a water thief in the manner in the photograph the 2 lines require drastically different pressures. so although there is a guage are you pumping for the 1 3/4 or 2 1/2?
2) The use of 2 1/2 hose and 50 psi nozzles are a terrific low pressure attack line combination. When two - three lines are flowing thru a water thief, wye or manifold device, higher pressures will be required (up to 25 psi) that the outlet may not have available. Although the outlet you have photographed is not a PRV or PRD other factors could give you less than desired pressures at the outlet. Remember 1 Meridian Plaza had an estimated outlet pressure of 45 psi and NFPA 14 only requires 65 psi residual for buildings build pre 93'. With 150 of 2 1/2 (15 psi friction loss) plus a 50 psi nozzle you are already at 65psi. There simply may not be enough to add other devices

In summary my recommendation would be to use a simple 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 inline pressure guage with one attack line operating. Stretch the 2nd line from the next floor below at another outlet. Each line has its own outlet and pressure guage, just like operating off the pumper. After all you would not operate a 2 1/2 and 1 3/4 off the same outlet of the engine would you?

Respectfully,

Daryl

Daryl,

I see what you are saying and agree. To be honest with you I wasn't on the committee to get this equipment but I do know they researched and tested it. I remember that Elkhart rated their FL at 10 for the water theif and our county uses Ponn Conquest 3" hose not 2.5" so there's less friction loss. Like I said I can't give you all the specifics because I'm knee deep in so many other projects but if you really want the info on the testing I can research it if you send me an e-mail. Take care bro and thanks for sharing.

Jason

Post Script - Actually the main problem with this set-up is hose cabinets like the ones at nursing homes. It's impossible to put the water thief on so we have to hook up the 3" to the cabinet standpipe and run it to the water thief. That presents a problem because 1/2 the guys don't secure the water thief and it becomes a hazard when charged!

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