1. What are Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS)?

FARS are building-installed standpipes that deliver breathing air, providing firefighters with a quick, safe, and effective means to refill their air bottles at filling stations located throughout a building during emergency operations.

 

  1. How quickly can a firefighter refill an air bottle?

It takes less than two minutes to refill an air bottle.

 

  1. How do FARS work?

During the construction process, FARS installers pull seamless stainless steel tubing up through stairway shafts. The tubing is protected by two-hour fire enclosures. Air-filling stations are located at various locations in designated stairways or air resource closets (every three floors is a common requirement), depending on the preference of the authority having jurisdiction.  FARS can also be retrofitted into existing buildings.

The air-fill stations can be simple high-pressure hoses or rupture-protection enclosures, each of which can fill two air bottles in two minutes or less. In the first stages of firefighting, the air supply comes from large H bottles located in the air resource room, normally at the ground floor of the building.

 

  1. Can FARS only be installed in a high-rise structure?

No. FARS are installed in mid-rises, high-rises, tunnels, ships, large big box style structures, underground structures, and mega-buildings that present unique logistical challenges to firefighters.

 

  1. How do I know the air is safe?

Every authorized FARS is monitored on a 24-7-365 basis for carbon monoxide, air pressure, and moisture levels.

 

  1. Where does the air come from?

Every FARS uses air from large, commercial air bottles found in the air supply room of the building. The system is pressurized constantly, making the air immediately available to first responders. The air is delivered to each air-fill panel through continuous (not welded), seamless stainless steel tubing, like the medical gas systems found in hospitals and clinics.

 

  1. What is the cost of FARS to a fire department?

FARS don’t impact fire department budgets. When a system is required by the local fire code, the building owner/operator pays for installation and maintenance, just like other building-installed fire protection equipment such as sprinkler systems and fire alarms. The only cost to the department will be to train personnel on how to use the system, which is quick and efficient, and can be easily integrated into current training programs.