A standpipe system is a fire safety system which is designed to provide rapid access to water in the event that a fire breaks out. Standpipes are installed as standalone systems which act like building-specific fire hydrants, providing fire protection which will be readily available to fire fighters. It is also possible to see standpipe systems bundled with sprinkler systems, providing automatic or manual sprinklers in addition to connection points for fire hoses.
These systems are most commonly installed in buildings which are tall, large, or highly specialized, in which case a fire might cause damage or problems. They can be installed in other types of structures as well. Dry standpipe systems consist of a series of pipes which bring water to various points in a building when it is pumped in by fire fighters, with the pipes remaining dry and empty when there is not a need. Wet systems are “charged,” meaning that they are filled with water, at all times.
Having a standpipe system reduces liability in the event of a fire. Insurance companies usually offer a discount to buildings with fire protection measures such as a standpipe system in place, and the more systems they have, the cheaper insurance will be. People are also rewarded for redundant fire protection systems, as insurance companies are usually happy to see any sort of measure which will reduce the risk that they will need to pay out.