A Fire Department Connection (FDC) is “A connection through which the fire department can supplemental water into the sprinkler system, standpipe, or other system, furnishing water for fire extinguishment to supplement existing water supplies.” FDCs are required on all standpipe systems per NFPA 14, Standard for the Installation of Standpipe and Hose Systems, and sprinkler systems per NFPA 13, Standard for the Installation of Sprinkler Systems.
In 2007, the Technical Committee for NFPA 14 added the requirement for one 2 ½ inch inlet per every 250 gallons per minute (gpm), but this requirement lacks supporting scientific documentation, so there was a need to conduct flow testing to determine the amount of water that is possible to flow into an FDC inlet.
The new report documenting the testing has been published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation, titled, "Fire Department Connection (FDC) Inlet Flow Assessment" and authored by Y. Pock Utiskul, Ph.D., Neil P. Wu, P.E., and Elizabeth Keller, all with Exponent, Inc.
The overriding goal of this research project was to provide a technical basis to the NFPA 14 Technical Committee for a possible change to the standard. A full listing of project observations as they relate to the current NFPA guidance is provided in Section 8 of this report.