Locate the fire department connection

Locate the fire department connection

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Locate the fire department connection


By Mark van der Feyst

Buildings that are equipped with a standpipe or a sprinkler system will have a fire department connection (FDC) located on the outside. This allows the fire apparatus to supply more water and pressure to augment the operation of each. The FDC is usually located at the front of the building. However, where the sprinkler room or standpipe is within the building will dictate where the FDC will be located.

On some buildings it may be difficult to spot the FDC, like in this photo where they are located on the side entrance of the building's loading dock access. They are hidden from public view and would be hard to locate if pressed to do so on a moment's notice.

The solution lies in having a pre-incident plan for these buildings. Get to know where they are going to be located by physically walking around the building. Also, take any opportunity your normal life presents you to locate the FDC. One example can be picking up children from school. Walk around the school and take note if the FDC is on the side or the back and if there are any obstructions that would make connecting to it difficult. Pre-incident planning can take place at any time.

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Ron Ayotte Ron Ayotte Friday, January 25, 2013 5:15:44 PM Another easy way to complement pre-planing is to have the location of FDC marked with a reflective sign above it.
Steve Zaccard Steve Zaccard Monday, January 28, 2013 5:52:04 AM Have a policy of locating the FDC wherever the outside strobe and/or horn are installed on the building. Seeing the strobe going off and/or hearing the red horn will help locate the FDC when you need it.
Jamie Swiger Jamie Swiger Saturday, March 23, 2013 11:04:45 AM On our crew, it is a common practice to make a connection to the FDC on any alarm condition for practice. Drivers will park near the FDC, if possible, and will make the connection while an investigation is underway by the officer and crew.

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