High-Rise Adds System for Firefighter Safety
The newest high-rise in the City of Clayton has a feature that will help firefighters in the event of an emergency. When fighting a fire in a high-rise occupancy the priority for firefighters is air and water supplies. The new Centene Tower at 7676 Forsyth has both built into the superstructure.
By code high-rise buildings are already required to have a built-in water supply known as a standpipe system which is a dedicated water source for firefighting activities. Firefighters typically carry sections of hose and extra air bottles into the building. The bottles can be changed when a firefighter runs low and can find an area that is free of smoke to make the swap. This is labor intensive and is extra weight for firefighters to carry up the stairs to the fire floor when elevators may not be an option.
The Centene Tower is the first high-rise in the State of Missouri to have a Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) which is a permanent air standpipe. A FARS is the quickest and effective way to deliver air replenishment to firefighters in a high-rise structure. Firefighters can refill their air bottles at ten different stairway locations less than two minutes. The installation of the FARS is a result of the adoption of 2015 International Fire Code, Appendix K.