Seconds Matter: The Benefits of Firefighter Air-Replenishment Systems

We all recognize the strenuous situations that firefighters face when suppressing fires. Thankfully, many cities around the nation are updating codes to require FARS, Firefighter Air-Replenishment Systems.

If a firefighter is battling a blaze, the last thing he wants to do is leave the building to refill his air supply. All the progress made could be lost during the few minutes he and his partner have to spend traveling down stairs or through a maze of rooms.

In the past, the easiest solution has been to create bottle brigades, groups of firemen carrying air canisters to committed firefighters. With one canister in each hand, firemen trudged up staircases, swaying between exhaustion and an adrenaline-boosted necessity to help fellow firefighters stop the flames. Many departments mandate only two trips per person before resting. With each tank holding 30-60 minutes worth of air, larger fires could require continuous trips from three or more bottle-carrying firemen – trained men and women who could be doing more effective tasks.

With a FARS, firefighters can refill their air tanks within feet of their frontline position. All they need is to connect to the fill station, and within 2 minutes, they can continue their work. The system also frees up the bottle brigade conscripts for more urgent tasks, like additional fire suppression support, equipment monitoring, or providing first-responder aid and security. FARS are the fastest, safest, most reliable, and most efficient way to replenish air for engaged firefighters.

TD is proud to work with RescueAir as a provider for this service. As of June, TD is the only company to install a FARS in the state of Texas – and has several more in process or scheduled for the next few months. As of June, TD has installed three in Texas and two in Arizona. TD has assigned one project superintendent to oversee all installations in each region, securing a high-quality process each time.

Impressed by the success of these systems, many municipalities are creating codes to mandate installing FARS on all commercial buildings with multiple floors – including renovations. According to RescueAir, the leading manufacturer of FARS, more than 80 jurisdictions around the country require them. That includes Texas locations Pearland, Plano, Midland, Frisco, and Southlake, and Phoenix, Arizona. Many more fire chiefs are seeing the benefits and urging their cities to make them mandatory.

In 2015, the International Code Committee approved adding FARS to the International Fire Code (Appendix L). This code does not govern all installations, but is an influential resource for city councils. FARS also appear in Appendix F of the 2015 Uniform Plumbing Code and the 2018 NFPA code.

Each FARS includes an external air connection, large commercial air canisters, a first-floor connection and fill stations on higher floors (determined by local codes, usually one every three floors). Thick-wall tubing – the size of your index finger – transports the air at between 6,000-7,500 pounds of pressure. The installation timetable varies, but for reference, anticipate roughly a two-day installation for two installations in two stairwells of a 10-story building.

Each FARS is monitored 24 hours per day to prevent carbon monoxide, air leakage and moisture penetration. Systems must be checked once a quarter.

Does your city require FARS installations? Are you interested in providing the best possible fire safety for your business, customers, and fire department? Only certified contractors are allowed to install FARS, so make sure to contact TDIndustries to guide your business through the purchase and installment phases of FARS.

Click this link to fill out the form and a TD representative will contact you shortly or call 1-800-864-7717. 



Categories: Safety