Saturday, May 7, 2016

Fire Department Connections (FDCs)

Nothing could be easier to find, see, inspect, and maintain, little old FDCs.  Or so you would think.

Missing caps is a common occurrence.  Remember, an obstruction investigation is necessary when you find these.  FDCs are emergency hardware, it should be treated as such.

Missing Cap.

The photo below may show two (2) FDCs with missing caps:

Another view is shown of this building below:

Missing caps:


Cap partially broken:

An FDC behind a fence.  The FD will have to take the fence down.

A client manufactured FDC cap is shown below.  It may not release or be as easy to remove as a standard cap.  It should be replaced.




More missing caps, below:

Missing Caps:

Here we have a national chain retail store:

Close up:

Another broken tab:

Broken tabs:

Another damaged tab:

And FDC obstructed by snow:

Another location with potential access restriction by snow:

A lot of miscellaneous storage surround the following FDC and fire hydrant:

The following photo may show three (3) FDCs blocked by miscellaneous storage on an access road:

Another broken cap:

Broken tabs:

And at a military installation.  Do not know what the wire is or why it is installed as shown:

And another broken tab:

Red 4" main feeds FDC.  Stacking of plastic bottles on the FDC feed is noted.

A hospital's FDC in the following photo.  Without the sign the FDC would be substantially hidden.

And a large national retail chain store:



Another hard to see FDC:

Here we have a national brand hotel - it could be a challenge to find the FDC:

Take another look:


Here it is:

Three photos below show another obstructed/hidden FDC.

And more:


FDC with damaged signage:

FDC internal inspection.  Remember, we have to drive this through 1/2" sprinkler heads.

And another missing cap:

Missing caps in the city, also note the painted bell:

More missing caps, bushes help to restrict access.

Missing caps:

Another one below, note the replaced water motor gong with a horn/strobe.  Some maintenance work is being performed, more is needed.

Below, FDC inspection/service work in progress.  Arrow points to debris (bird's nest) removed from FDC.

Below, caps with bent screws.  Caps must be removed annually for internal inspection (gasket check, debris inspection).  Caps will have to be removed and replaced [discarded] due to this non-standard install.

A close up:

And below, we have a FDC located close to a wall and door.  2.5" hose lay is not very flexible when charged with water, the hose bend/radius may not fit within this space.

Another FDC with a potential hose-wall clearance issue:

Missing caps:

Missing caps and signage damaged:

Damaged/Missing releasing knobs on these British style FDCs below.  Caps would not/did not release.  Significant work was involved in repairing these.

Without the knob removal is not easy.  You can see from the photo below the operation of these British type FDCs.

Recommend a no-parking sign in front of this FDC at a fast-food restaurant:

Actual fast food restaurant FDC pictured below:

FDC access by fire department obstructed by miscellaneous storage, see below:

Odd.  Also note the owner-mounted plastic on the exterior alarm bell:

Below we have a missing Storz brand cap:

Without secured caps in place this is what happens:

A no parking sign, sign indicating what building this serves and bollards would be nice, see below:

Below we have signage indicating the parking place located by the FDC is reserved not for the Fire Department but the head custodian.

A national chain grocery store:

Another obstructed FDC, in B&W, for effect:

And another site, two (2) photos document an obstructed FDC:

Another FDC behind a locked fence:

Below a hotel with a FDC behind a locked FDC.   No signage indicating its location:

Close up #1:

Final close up - behind door:

Bollards or signage might be needed at the one below.  Appears to have been laterally loaded (pushed or hit) out of alignment.  May be damaged below grade:

Check valve for this FDC is in a manhole, see below:

Below, a non-standard cap:

Below, a FDC showing evidence of debris inside:

Following photo shows flushing a FDC.  A long metal pipe or bar is used to open the check valve, this system does not have a by-pass:

The inspection company below places logo'd stickers on FDCs it inspects.  I have redacted the company's name/logo:

Below, old and new FDC gaskets shown.  Left gasket was removed from service:

FDC with a check valve or drain failure.  FDC not draining:

Example of a nice install is shown below:

More Knox locked FDCs.  Expensive, but they work:

Another install with good signage:

Good signage here too:

At a residential ocean pier we have nice signage:

Lastly we have a serious design/install error.  This particular FDC piping was never finished.  It is attached to a wet riser inside of a national hotel brand located in eastern US.  The FDC piping stops immediately downstream of the 4" FDC check valve.  The riser is apparently "live".  There is no on-going construction on site.

Another shot of the sectional riser:

A close up of the check valve under the stairs:

On the downstream side of the check valve:

This system appears [not confirmed] to have been accepted as is.  There appears to be no other FDC connection.

The photo below shows non-standard FDC caps as well as a non-standard method at securing caps.  These are not break-away caps.

The following photo may show water leaking through a FDC check valve.  Possible ice obstructed FDC.

Here's a FDC.  Well its actually a British Breaching Valve on a wet alarm valve system in Kuwait. Yes, it has issues.

Another breaching inlet valve:

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