Most people walk right past the riser room where they work without much thought, but it plays a critical part in a building’s protection. During a fire emergency, each second counts. Fire safety personnel might need access to fire protection system controls and equipment. Knowing where a riser room is, why it matters, and what equipment it stores make a significant difference during a fire emergency. Here is what you should know about riser room design.
Fire Sprinkler Riser Rooms: A Space Designed for Fire Protection Equipment
A fire sprinkler riser room is a space dedicated to fire protection equipment placed on an outside wall at grade with direct exterior access. It provides an accessible, central location for workers and emergency personnel to find fire sprinkler controls and equipment. These fire sprinkler controls and equipment include:
- The sprinkler riser: the main component of a sprinkler system that’s a bridge between the water supply sprinkler pipes in a building
It also contains many of the following devices:
- Valves for testing, draining, and testing the system
- Pressure gauges that measure if sprinkler systems are in service and maintaining the proper water pressure and air pressure in dry sprinkler systems
- The backflow prevention device safeguards municipal water supplies from pollution and contamination by enabling water to flow in one direction.
- The dry pipe valve in dry sprinklers holds back the water supply until a sprinkler head activates, and other dry system components like riser-mounted air compressors pressurize sprinkler pipes.
- Water switch flows that activate alarms.
- A bell or water motor gong (sounds off when water flows through the sprinkler system. This bell is usually on the outside wall of the sprinkler riser room.)
- Tamper switches connected to valves that signal a warning if the fire protection valve partially or fully closes
- Piping connecting to the fire department enables firefighters to supplement the system’s water supply.
- The cabinet that stores spare sprinkler heads and compatible sprinkler wrenches for replacing deployed or damaged ones
Riser Room Design and Location
Sprinkler riser rooms, in most cases, should be on the ground floor with a door easily accessible from the outside. However, fire code compliance laws allow some leeway regarding a fire riser room’s location. Typically, riser rooms are located where the water service enters a building, which is usually predetermined by site conditions or local ordinances.
When possible, a riser room’s location should be in a centrally-located spot, which ensures a more efficient system and adequate water flow throughout the property. Essential factors to consider when selecting the area include:
- Easy fire department access
- An excellent hydraulic location (a mechanical function that operates through the force of liquid pressure) for all systems
- An ideal place to access valves
- Location of the fire department connection or connection and the domestic demand, if there’s a combined water service
Additional Riser Room Design Rules
A fire riser room does not need to be locked. It also doesn’t need a dedicated room unless a fire pump is involved. Boilers, pumps, backflows, and other types of storage can be here so long as there aren’t any obstructions.
You also do not need to have the riser room installed in the back of the building. Having the riser room on the main floor of a warehouse or factory saves space. It’s also best to leave at least 9ft² space per fire riser system valve while maintaining at least 3 ft of space in front of the fire riser that will always remain open and free from storage.
Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler today whenever you’re due for a fire pump or fire sprinkler inspection. You can also contact our fire protection team if unsure if your building would be safe in a fire emergency.
Contact Chesapeake Sprinkler Company Today!
Chesapeake Sprinkler Company is a leading fire sprinkler contractor in the region, which is now a member of the Century Fire Protection family. As a full-service fire protection company, we offer design, fabrication, installation, testing, maintenance, and inspection of fire protection systems. Everything you need from your fire suppression specialist.
For more information, please email or call our Odenton location at 410-674-7041, our Ashburn location at 703-729-5150, or for service/maintenance at 410-674-7577. For emergencies, call 800-298-3473 (FIRE). Feel free to keep in touch through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn!