"Air replenishment systems protect firefighters to the highest standards available. Even small contained fires produce large amounts of smoke. One of the biggest problems in high rise and unlimited area buildings is providing firefighters with a fresh supply of air. An air replenishment system provides air where it is needed, when it's needed."

-BARBARA KOFFRON, Fire Marshal, Phoenix Fire Department and Member, International Code Council (ICC) Board of Directors

The firefighter breathing air replenishment system was added to the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) 's Uniform Plumbing Code in 2006, appearing in Appendix F. A portion of the code language appears below:

"This chapter covers minimum requirements for installation of firefighter breathing air replenishment systems ...

"High rise buildings. Buildings greater than 75 feet in height where the building height is measured from the lowest level of fire department vehicle access to the floor of the highest occupiable story...

"System Components. Firefighter breathing air replenishment systems shall contain, as a minimum, the following components.

  1. Exterior Fire Department Connection Panel
  2. Interior Fire Department Air Fill Panel or Station
  3. Interconnected Piping Distribution System
  4. Pressure Monitoring Switch"

It is estimated that 14 states and 8,000 cities adhere to the Uniform Plumbing Code, making FBARS a requirement in high-rise construction.

The FBARS is also required in numerous cities and counties across the country independent of the Uniform Plumbing Code.

For more information, contact IAPMO at www.iapmo.org.

OSHA's "Fire Service Features of Buildings and Fire Protection Systems"
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