A Thing of the Past

Did you know that the National Fire Protection Association’s Fire Code (NFPA 1) now allows authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ’s) a greater ability to remove Class II Standpipes from buildings? With the adoption of the 2018 NFPA 1 Fire Code, the code now takes an official step in the removal process of these antiquated systems.

Class II standpipe systems have simply become a thing of the past, originally being developed for fire brigades or trained personnel. The original concept of 1 ½” hose racks with minimal flow and pressure was to allow trained personnel within a building to utilize these systems for early suppression efforts.

We have learned that placing any personnel, fire brigade or trained firefighters, in atmospheres that are immediately dangerous to life and health (IDLH) without the protection of a fire hose line designed for structural firefighting is simple unacceptable. The United State Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1926.150 (c)(2)(i) allows these systems to be substituted for a single fire extinguisher not rated more than a single 2A water can extinguisher, provided that the hose line can reach all points in the area needing protection. This equivalency shows a clear example that these systems clearly do not meet the requirements found in NFPA 1710, Section that requires an uninterrupted water supply of a minimum of 400 gallons per minute for 30 minutes and the establishment of an effective water flow from two handlines of 300 gallons per minute. OSHA along with NFPA codes and standards regulate minimal requirements for structural firefighting which these antiquated class II systems simple don’t meet.

The code will now permit the AHJ’s to remove existing occupant-use hose lines where three requirements in NFPA 1, Section are met.

The code does not require their installation

The current building code does not require their installation.

The AHJ determines that the occupant-use hose line will not be utilized by trained personnel or the fire department.

The only remaining requirement for Class II standpipe in the 2018 edition, Section, is when they are to be installed in new assembly occupancy stages over 1000 sq.ft. This limited use is for first aid firefighting at each side of a stage.