Fire Department Connections (FDC) provide a necessary access point for firefighters; when they arrive on scene locating the FDC is crucial as a fire can quickly deplete a sprinkler system’s pressurized water supply.
The connections are commonly located outside of a building, facing the adjacent street so the fire engine can connect hoses to the fire hydrant which then pumps water into the FDC to supplement the water supply to the fire sprinkler system or standpipe system. (The standpipe system is a piped water supply system that allows firefighters to connect hoses from points inside the building to quickly get closer to the fire without running long lengths of hose.) FDC’s are also required to have signage indicating the type of system they are supplying, the coverage area (if applicable) and the supply pressure requirements if it is not the standard pressure requirements.
Caps cover the inlets on the FDC and keep them free from debris. If left without a cap, they can be susceptible to bird nests, wasp nests, and other nature made obstructions. Not only that, but when not covered people too can put all kinds of things in connection openings; food wrappers, drink cups, aluminum cans, plastic bags, and rocks to name a few.In a fire emergency, a blocked or plugged connection will delay the water supply while the firefighters clear out what they can see. If debris is found inside this tends to work its way up with the water and can get lodged in the system, disrupting the water supply on the fire. Easy to understand why caps are essential! Also, Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) require these caps and if found missing during annual inspections you will be found in violation. Red Plastic FDC Caps
Every new FDC comes with the proper caps, often brass with accompanying chains that are secured to the unit. The most common reason for missing caps is thieves taking them to cash in on scrap metal. An alternative to brass is aluminum, it’s cheaper than brass and is less desirable to thieves. To combat the theft, plastic breakable caps held on with eyebolts are put in place and are a cost-effective solution. In the event of a fire, the firefighter will easily break the cap with the butt end of an ax to access the connection. Given that these caps are plastic and do not thread onto the connections, they occasionally loosen over time or are tampered with and can break or fall off. We advise having a few extra on hand if this is the case.
FDC Caps and Plugs – Proper Fit, Threading, Size
If a replacement cap is needed, it is important to get the proper fitting. Plastic caps need to properly cover the opening and secure to the FDC. Metal caps need the proper threading to screw onto the FDC. Not sure what size cap you need? We can help with that!
Leave it to a Professional.
In all cases in which your fire sprinkler system needs work, a licensed professional service provider is required to prevent accidental activation, false alarm and to ensure the system is functional and in service when the work is complete.