Types of Standpipe Systems

When you need to modify or install a fire protection system, it is important to understand the types of standpipe systems and standpipe classes required by the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) and other parties that may impose additional demands such as insurance companies. Knowing the requirements early on is critical to completing a successful project and minimizing unforeseen costs and schedule delays.

NFPA 14 identifies three standpipe classes:

  1. Class I systems are designed for use by fire departments with 2½” hose connections.

  2. Class II systems are designed for use by trained personnel or fire departments with 1½” hose connections.

  3. Class III systems are designed for use by trained personnel or fire departments with both 1½” and 2½” hose connections.

These types of standpipe systems can then be designed as a combination of a wet, dry, automatic, manual, or semiautomatic system as defined and required by NFPA 14.

Under IBC Section 905.3.1, “Height,” which requires a standpipe to be installed throughout buildings, the required type of standpipe is a Class III system.

Generally, in most buildings, the standpipe system can be designed as a Class I system due to the provision of Exception I to Section 905.3.1 of the IBC for buildings protected throughout by automatic sprinkler systems.

NFPA 14 permits Class I standpipe systems to be manual wet systems for buildings not classified as a high-rise above 75 ft. A manual standpipe is to be used when the building is between 30' - 75'. Once you break 75', you must have an automatic standpipe.

As a pre-construction adviser, Ahern’s knowledge and experience benefit general contractors, architects, and building owners. Through early involvement in standpipe system selection, we can help ensure designs follow proper code and mitigate design changes after a project has been initiated. 

The best way to safeguard your business from fire damage and keep occupants safe is by investing in a fire protection system. From design to installation, maintenance, inspection, and repair, Ahern has a team of NICET certified designers, in-house fabrication resources, and experienced field teams to meet your fire protection needs. 

Contact Ahern today to learn more.

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