• Volume 18, Issue 4 | 4th Quarter

    Feature Article

    Maintaining FDC Integrity with Knox® Locking Caps

    By Mark Conroy


    Buildings protected with fire sprinkler systems and standpipes have connections for the fire department to connect their hoses. In addition, fire hydrants are commonly used by fire departments to draw water from a municipal water supply. These connections are required to be protected with caps to keep out trash and debris, which would impede the fire department use. With Knox Locking Caps, only the fire department has access, ensuring that the connections are clear and ready for use.

    These connections can be either threaded or have a “Storz” quick connection. Storz connections have interlocking hooks and flanges instead of threads and are bigger for large volumes of water. Because the Storz locking caps can hold water pressure, they can be installed on hydrants. All of these connections are required by NFPA to have caps.

    Hose connections for fire departments require caps (NFPA 13, 2019, Where this rule is not being enforced, there will be open-ended pipes (a code violation). But many cities have adopted the Knox system, which allows caps to be locked in place. Firefighters have the Knox Keywrench, so only the fire department has access. City administrators, fire departments, and building owners endorse this system.

    Pre-Approved Knox Cities

    To improve safety, fire departments in many cities and towns allow the installation of the Knox Locking Caps, which are pre-approved for use in over 550 cities and towns in the United States. Here is a link to the list:

    Requesting Fire Department Approval for Knox Locking Caps

    If you service buildings in a city or town where Knox is not currently in use, provide the name and contact information of your local fire department to your Brooks account manager. They will coordinate with a Knox representative who will work with your local fire department on getting Knox caps approved. The fire department will need the special Knox Keywrench (kept on the fire truck) that will allow them to remove the Knox Locking Caps.

    To install a Knox Locking Cap, all you will need is the Knox Keywrench installation tool, which is the same tool that the fire department has to remove the cap. There is a short video that shows how the caps are installed and removed.

    Wherever Knox Locking Caps are approved and installed, safety of occupants, firefighters, and property is enhanced. Installing a new Knox Locking Cap takes only minutes, as they are designed to fit existing connections. Your customers will appreciate the improvement in safety, as your fire department can easily remove them and have immediate access to all building hose connections upon arrival.

    Mark Conroy is an engineer and fire code consultant in our Boston, MA office.

    Employee Spotlight

    Meet Mike Cox

    Account Manager

    In February of 2014, Mike came aboard with Brooks, joining the Sales Team as an Account Manager. Prior to joining Brooks, Mike served as a Mortgage Loan Officer. He also served the United States Air Force, in Desert Storm as Crew Chief on a KC-135 Stratotanker, which continues to provide the core aerial refueling capability for the USAF.

    As an Account Manager for Brooks, Mike works hard at building customer relationships. To him, his mission here at Brooks is to provide the best possible customer service. With an average of 75–100 customer contacts per day, Mike spends his time helping his customers any way he can. From taking orders to answering technical questions, he’s as much a student as he is a tutor. “I treat my customers with respect, and I not only share my knowledge on our parts and services but also remain a student to their knowledge.”

    To Mike, Brooks and Brooks customers are much like a second family. “My colleagues are a great group of people and my customers are so interesting and diverse…it all kind of feels like a second family.” Mike also believes in the value Brooks brings to its customers. He works extra hard to make sure their orders are expedited, their questions are answered, and their inquiry receives a “thank you” every time.

    Originally from Martinsville, VA, he spends many of his weekends at ball fields watching his 13-year-old son, Tyler, playing travel baseball or his 15-year-old daughter, Hannah, playing tournament softball. A BIG football and basketball fan, too, he devotes a lot of his free time to watching the Washington Redskins and the Duke Blue Devils—win or lose.

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in these articles are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment Company, LLC expressly disclaims any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article(s) or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information’s accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.