Photos 26 Aug 2007 08:35 am
- A necessary accessory to a high rise building in a city is the standpipe and fire sprinkler systems. These are evidenced outside of most of these buildings as odd pipes and valves that attach near the front doors of most buildings.
The standpipe is a pipe that runs vertically through an entire building. It allows the fire department to attach to the standpipe and get water within a fire. Wet standpipes have water always running throughout these pipes. Dry standpipes require water to be pumped into the pipes.
Last weekend there was a fire in a building in NY in which two firefighters died. This building was a remnant of 9/11 in that it was ultimately gutted and asbestos was being cleared from the site. A fire broke out, and one of the reasons for the death of the two men was the dry standpipe. It hadn’t been properly maintained, _________(Click any image to enlarge.)
and water pumped into the pipe burst out and
flooded the stairwells. Thus becoming a problem rather than an aid. The firemen had to use ropes to try to lift hoses to the higher floors.
I find these constructions outside buildings quite interesting. We pass by them, sometimes even sit on them when waiting, without really taking notice of them.
So I decided to photograph some of them.
Traditionally, the pipes look like these. The photo on the left gives a good shot of the
norm. The red pipe indicates a standpipe, and the right pipe indicates a sprinkler system. The fire department can tap into either. I like how they’ve left some of the beautiful brass pipe showing. In the photo on the right, the shapes start to get a bit more wonky.
I’ve noticed that most of the superintendents use the water in the standpipe to hose down their sidewalks in the early mornings. I’ve often wondered about this practice of washing
the concrete. They do it even on days it’s going to rain.
The sign behind this fence leaves no doubt that there’s a standpipe, but then the pipe is higher than the sign. Just one house down the valves hide at ground level, but they keep the sign high enough to see. It’d be interesting to see the firemen cut through the
chain lock to get to it.