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It’s stipulated in Building Regulations that dry risers are requires in all occupied building that are 18m or taller. They’re also included in other buildings, such as multilevel basements, car parks and access limited hospital corridors. In an emergency, fire services use dry riser systems to distribute water to the different levels of a building.

What is a dry riser?

Described in simple terms, a dry riser is a main pipe running up a building vertically in order to distribute water needed in multiple levels of a building in order to suppress a fire. When not in use, the pipe is empty of water, making it the opposite of a wet rise. A wet riser is utilised by keeping it full of water to be used manually or automatically.

Dry riser systems have various key components and systems, and always have a dry riser inlet box within 18 metres of fire engine access in order for fire services to use it. Dry riser systems in occupied buildings are housed in a fire resistant shaft, often a fire escape staircase so that it can be used safely and efficiently.

At the ground floor, there is an Inlet Breeching Cabinet, where the inlet breeching is found and where fire service connects the dry riser’s water supply. Once the water supply is connected, highly pressurised water travels along the building’s external wall to the interior and to the top of the building. A landing valve, or dry riser gate valve, is accessible on every floor to connect internally and can be found in an outlet cabinet. An air release valve is also fitted at the top of the vertical pipework to allow the air used by the pressurised water to safely escape.


The benefits of dry risers

Dry risers off a number of benefits, including:

  • They don’t need special equipment or facilities in order to be installed
  • The structures of buildings having dry risers installed don’t need to be altered or modified in any way
  • They provide quicker and more efficient access to the water mains than other systems
  • Water can be pumped into the pipes instantly


For more information about dry risers and how you can benefit from having a dry riser system, don’t hesitate to call 0208 864 3914 or get in touch with the team at Residential Sprinklers today.

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