Fire Mitigation Services

Dry Riser Testing and Maintenance

Covering all of Scotland.

Dry Riser Maintenance

What is a Dry Riser ?

A Dry Riser or Rising main is a pipework system which is used by the Fire service to fight fires in multi storey buildings or within large complex buildings like hospitals.

In an emergency fire situation, time is crucial and a Dry Riser will allow firefighters to apply water to a fire much quicker than if they had to run their fire hose all the way from the fire appliance to the scene of a life threatening fire.
Dry Risers are usually fitted in buildings which are between 18 and 60 metres high or buildings of 4 storeys and above.
 They can also be found running horizontally in complex buildings to quickly provide water for firefighting nearer the scene of a fire.
One Dry Riser system consists of an inlet at ground floor level on the outside of the building within reach of the roadway, where the Fire Service can connect their fire appliance pump in order to fill the system with water.
The pipework then goes to each level of the building or to remote locations where a landing valve or outlet is located in the stairwell or lobby.
The landing valve is where the Fire Service would connect their hose to carry out firefighting operations on the upper levels of a building or deep within a complex building.
Most of the time the landing valve will be enclosed in a cabinet but sometimes all the pipework will be visible within the stairwell.

To ensure that water reaches the firefighters quickly during a fire situation, there is an air relief valve or air exhaust valve at the highest point of the pipework which allows the air out of the system as the water enters at the bottom.
The air relief valve will seal automatically when the system is full of water and pressurised.

Dry Riser Maintenance

Ask Yourself this..

If essential firefighting facilities are left without regular maintenance and testing, are there any guarantees that they will performas they should if required ?
If, in the unlikely event a Dry Riser sytsem is used in anger, and fails, can building managers honestly say that they did everything in their power to ensure the building was safe ?
As a building manager, under current legislation, it is your responsibility to ensure that firefighting facilities including the Dry Riser, are maintained and tested regularly.
Regular maintenance and testing will show that you have done everything within your power to ensure that the building is as safe as it can be.

How do you test a Dry Riser ?

The method of testing a Dry Riser is outlined in British Standard 9990(2015) Non automatic fire-fighting systems in buildings – Code of Practice.
This document is produced by the British Standards Institute.

Annual Test + 6 Monthly Inspection

The British Standard recommends an annual functional test and a six-monthly visual inspection. The annual test is known as a hydrostatic wet pressure test, where the system is filled with water and pressurised to ensure there are no leaks. Before the pipework is filled with water, a rigorous check of all visible pipework and landing valves is carried out to make sure they are all closed.

Pressure Testing

A specialised pressure testing pump is then used to fill the riser with water. Since the Fire Service will pressurise a Dry Riser to 12 Bar, it is essential that the test pressure is more than the working pressure. Therefore, the test procedure specifies a pressure of 12 Bar for a period of 15 minutes. A further check of the system is then carried out from top to bottom to ensure there are no leaks.

Valve Condition

As well as the wet pressure test, the condition of the valves is looked at to ensure they are not seized, and they are lubricated as required. The cabinets which house the valves are checked to ensure that they are in good condition and that the locks for the cabinets work effectively. The signage on each of the cabinets or at the dry riser valve is also checked to ensure it is adequate and complies with the requirements for identification of firefighting equipment location under the Health and Safety (Safety signs and signals) Regulations 1996.


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Frequently Asked Questions

When it comes to pricing for Dry Riser testing and maintenance in Scotland, the simple answer is that you should not have to pay more than £100 per system for the annual wet pressure test.
As far as our pricing is concerned, we strive to remain competitive, but we can’t give an exact price that covers every system in every location throughout Scotland as there any many variables that have to be considered.

The Dry riser is part of the common areas within a building, therefore the landlord or the building manager is responsible for the maintenance. In residential properties it would usually be the factor or property management company.

The British Standard (9990 2015) is the recognised code of practice and it recommends a 6-monthly visual inspection and an annual functional or wet pressure test.

British Standard 9990(2015) which is the recommended code of practice recommends that a dry riser is filled with water and pressurised to 12 Bar for 15 minutes. During that time we will also be checking all the other associated parts of the system.

We have completed a full risk assessment of our procedures identifying the hazards and the steps required to minimize risk.  All our clients will be provided with a Risk assessment and method statement before any work commences.
We are also registered and approved by the Alcumus Safecontractor scheme.
Fire Mitigation Services is registered with Scottish Water to draw water from the fire hydrants in the street, the same as the Fire Service would use.
We also have an on-board water tank which holds 1000 litres of water.

If f there is no Dry Riser in your building, then you don’t need one, however if there is one installed, the person who has responsibility for management of the building has a duty of care to ensure that it is tested and maintained in accordance with the recommended code of practice.(BS 9990-2015)

Dry Risers and Wet Risers are both piepwork systems which the Fire Service use to get water from the ground to upper levels of high buildings for firefighting.
A Dry Riser would be used in a building of between 18m and 60m.
When a building is higher than 60m, a Fire Service pump  will struggle to push the water to the top of the building, therefore a Wet Riser pipework system would be fitted and kept full of water with a water tank and pump above ground level to ensure the Fire Service will have that essential water supply if required.
The test is carried out using water to allow it to be completed while the building is occupied.
Our engineers will always be respectful to building occupants and will work with clients to ensure testing is carried out safely and efficiently with no disruption to normal everyday operations.
Dry Risers that are maintained regularly rarely leak.
During testing our engineers maintain contact with one another using handheld radios and are always vigilant to ensure that if a dry riser system leaks, the water supply is shut down immediately and the system drained to reduce the possibility of any water damage.