Where are hose connections required in a stair?
Thus far in this series in talking about standpipe design and how codes and standards apply, we've talked about when standpipe systems are required an what codes and standards apply, how we define a building height and building levels, an introduced NFPA 14.
Today, I'd like to cover an example of how these codes and standards interact with each other by exploring where hose connections are required in a building?
Now, both the International Building Code and code NFPA 14 both address location of standpipe hose connections.
When we have new-construction buildings, I typically see Class I standpipes. We will go into the different classifications for standpipe hose connections later, but Class I standpipes are where the hose connections consist of a single 2-1/2 inch threaded hose connection for the fire department to use to manually fight a fire.
Under the International Building Code, if we have a building with a sprinkler system, have a Group B or E Occupancy, are in a parking garage, or where occupant use hose lines will not be used by trained personnel or the fire department, then we can arrive at Class I standpipe types for our building.
But where are the hose connections actually required to go?
If we start at the International Building Code, there is a specific Section 905.4 that talks about the location of Class I standpipe hose connections.
Out of the International Building Code, a hose connection is required for each story above grade plane on the main floor landing of a stairwell, unless approved otherwise buy a fire code official. The IBC says main level stair landings.
NFPA 14 also now states main level floor landing, unless approved otherwise by the Authority Having Jurisdiction. In the 2021 edition of the IBC and the 2019 edition of NFPA 14, these two requirements corroborate. Both of them are saying that we have hose connections on the floor level landing of a stairwell.
Let's break out a few differences of what we're actually talking about.
What is a floor-level landing and what is an intermediate-level landing?
A main-floor level landing is the horizontal portion of a stairway where the stair risers stop and occupants can enter a floor level leave a floor level or turn around and walk on the stair itself.
Intermediate-level landings are the horizontal portion of a stairway where the stair risers stop and arguments can turn to continue on a stair. The intermediate level landings do not have access to a floor level through a door.
A stair landing is a resting place in between continuous stair risers. It actually limits the distance that somebody falling down a stair would fall. Stairs that jog back and forth with these landings offer some benefits period they help limit the building area that is dedicated to stairwells, they can create a consistent door location on each floor, and they can help to break up long stretches of stairs.
What is a hose connection for a standpipe?
A hose connection is where the fire department connects their hoses to the fixed standpipe system inside a building. It's the point where the firefighter with his hose connects to the fixed pipe network that's already in the building.
So, are hose connections required on the floor level landing or on the intermediate-level landing?
This requirement did not always match between the IBC and NFPA 14. In fact, both standards have changed from intermediate-level landings to main-floor level landings, starting with NFPA 14 in the 2010 edition, and the IBC only in the 2018 edition. Well which side trumps the other? Typically, the building code is the highest adopted code and would take precedence over a standard that it adopts. In this case one requirement is not more stringent than the other.
Let's say we had a project that use the 2015 IBC in the 2013 NFPA 14. The IBC would say intermediate-floor-level landings and NFPA 14 would say the main-floor level landings in a stairwell for those connections. What's the correct code compliant answer? It would be to ask the AHJ. With the conflict between the code and the standard, it would be a clarification item that the authority having jurisdiction could rule in either direction. Fortunately for this specific code requirement, both the code and the standard both point to the authority having jurisdiction as the approving party that specifically lays down the hammer for this requirement.
As a code in standard exercise, we would start with the building code, go to Section 905.4 if we're under the IBC, and find the requirement for hose connections and their location. Since the IBC requires standpipe systems to be installed in accordance with NFPA 14, we would then go to NFPA 14 and find that under section 7.3.2, that hose connections are to be located on main-floor level landings. We would write up this conflict and call our authority having jurisdiction in coordinate the actual location how we address it on our project.
The location of hose connections is very important in terms of the fire service and their ability to manually fight a fire. Will go into this topic and a whole lot more detail in the future, but for today that's an example of a code exercise that affects both the IBC and NFPA 14 and how he would arrive at an answer
I'm Joe Meyer, this is MeyerFire University.
2/4/2022 08:38:16 am
This is very helpful information. I have this exact situation on a project where the IBC and NFPA 14 differ. Thank you for information and clarification.
Leave a Reply.
Sentry Page Protection
Aaron Johnson, CFEI
Al Yakel, SET
Chris Campbell, PE
Chris Logan, CFPS, RSE
David Stacy, PE
Ed Henderson, PE
Joe Meyer, PE