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What is a Dry Riser?

12 April 2021

What is a Dry Riser?

When we think of fire protection systems, we often think of fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers. However, for multi-storey buildings, dry risers are a crucial part of fire safety – in this article, Fire & Security Group are going to detail what dry risers are and how they work.

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How do Dry Risers work?

A dry riser is a pipe within the walls of a building, running upwards through each floor. There are inlets on the external walls of a property, at the base – firefighters can connect their fire engine’s hose pipe to the inlet and pump water through the pipe so that it can be easily accessed by firefighters on higher floors, who will connect their hoses to the outlet on the inside. When they’re not in use, dry risers remain empty – the pipes are filled with compressed air to help maintain the requisite pressure to send the water up to different floors. Some buildings have wet risers, which remain full of water even when not in use.

Trying to trail a hosepipe up multiple flights of stairs is very difficult and time consuming, and in a fire emergency, every second is critical. Dry risers eliminate this problem, ensuring water can be transported rapidly through a building; many dry riser systems can reach up to 50m above ground. 

As well as their efficiency and speed, another benefit of dry risers is that their installation doesn’t require any structural alterations to the building in question. The inlets on the external walls are tamper-proof, too, so there’s no need to worry about them being vandalised.

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What are the Legal Requirements for Dry Risers?

If you own a multi-storey property, it’s important that you know what the requirements are for installing dry risers. 

  • Your building must have fire appliances within 18m of the dry riser inlet
  • A dry riser must be provided for every 900m2 of floor at every level aside from ground level
  • No part of any floor must be more than 60 metres from a dry riser outlet

No special equipment is required for the installation of dry risers, and as we’ve already mentioned, there’s no need for structural alterations, either. This, coupled with their efficiency and efficacy, means owners of multi-storey commercial properties have every reason to arrange for their own dry risers to be installed. The time saved through the use of dry risers compared to manually feeding a hose through a property and up multiple flights of stairs can save lives.

Ensuring your property is properly protected from fire is the legal responsibility of the building owner. Fire & Security Group are experienced providers of fire safety equipment, fire risk assessments and fire safety training for customers throughout the UK; let us make your property safe and ensure you’re meeting your legal obligations. Contact us today to find out more. 

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