Dry risers are systems of pipework that the fire service can utilise to quickly get water in an emergency.
They are vertical mains fitted into staircases, service risers etc. A dry riser system typically includes an ‘inlet’ at ground level on the outside of the building, and ‘outlets‘ (known as landing valves) fitted at each floor level.
The pipes in dry risers are empty and are only filled with water by the fire service when they arrive, or during a service visit.
Dry risers are often required in high-rise buildings and you will see them in various residential apartment blocks, office blocks and industrial sites.
Dry risers must be inspected visually every 6 months. The dry riser system then needs to have a wet test completed once per annum (this is often tied in with one of the visual inspections). The wet test ensures that the dry riser is functioning correctly so that, in case the fire brigade needs to use the system, they can act quickly with properly functioning equipment.
According to BS 9990, the visual inspection must be carried out on all of the components of the dry riser. Records of all inspections and servicing must be kept by the responsible person. It is crucial to have these completed by a competent professional.
The responsible person for ensuring a dry riser is maintained is typically the landowner or freeholder of the apartment block, dwelling, commercial site, or office block that the dry riser is within. This responsibility can be taken on via a property management company, where the agent will complete all the landowner or freeholders’ responsibilities.
At Apex Property Management we have a transparent policy in place and provide all of our clients with 24/7 online access to their building’s maintenance documents. This gives our clients peace of mind that the required maintenance for their block or estate is being completed on time and professionally.
The simple difference between a dry riser and a wet riser is that a wet riser system is kept full of water via water tanks and pumps, whereas a dry riser system is designed to be charged with water by the fire brigade.