What are Dry Risers?
A dry riser system is simply pipework and valves that runs through a building to allow water to be accessible in the event of a fire. Dry risers will have an inlet on the outside of the building and an outlet on each floor level within.
When are Dry Risers Necessary?
Dry risers are only needed in buildings over 18 metres in height (from the fire brigade's access point). They are also needed in buildings that have floors more than 10 metres below ground level. A dry riser would be installed for each stairwell within these buildings.
How do Dry Risers Work?
The fire brigade will link the fire engine to the dry riser inlet and with pressurised water they will flood the system. The fire hose will then be connected to the required outlet inside the building and the pressurised water will be use to fight the fire.
Dry Riser Regulation and Legal Requirements
To ensure it is compliant, dry risers need to be designed, installed and service to meet BS:9990. Each year a dry riser should have a wet test carried out along with a six monthly visual inspection. To carry out a wet test the system needs to be flooded with water and then pressurised to 14 bar to ensure that the system can meet the demands of the fire service. A specialist pump and testing lit is used to pressurise the system and to ensure that all the seals are holding correctly.
Who is Responsible for the Testing?
The responsibility falls on the property owner, landlord or facilities manager of the building. System that are not tested or maintained can lose pressure through leaks and rusted joints. This means that the fire service cannot get enough water, or sometimes even any water, out of the system when fighting a fire. This puts the lives of the any occupants and the fire fighters at unnecessary risk.