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    Fire Department Connections: Maintain System 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 of Approved Cities.

    Requesting Fire Department Approval for Knox Locking Caps

    If you service buildings in a city or town where Knox caps are not pre-approved for installation, 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 Locking Caps approved.

    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. Watch our FireTech talk video on FDC locking caps.

    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.

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    Mark Conroy is an engineer in our Boston, MA office. © 2019 Brooks Equipment

    Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above Tech Series article are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment Company, LLC expressly disclaims any warranty with respect to the information and any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article 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.