I have the good fortune of working in a system that has staffed engine, ladder and heavy-rescue companies. In this system, you become, let’s say, “specialized” in certain tasks on the fireground and have a definite scope of responsibility. So while I know and understand traditional ladder company work and have spent a decent amount of time on a ladder company in my career, my job is to lead an engine company, and I don’t perform task work on a ladder company on a regular basis.
As such, in my time in the fire service, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen a sprinkler head stopped—or attempted to be stopped—at an actual incident. Each time was when the head was discharging and it needed to be stopped or slowed immediately, as it was very damaging to the surrounding environment, and/or the shut off couldn’t be located for the riser.
I’ve also worked in the training academy and have often instructed recruits on how to shut off or slow the flow from operating heads. All of my experiences have came with old spring-loaded, brass-type shutoffs (probably from the 1950s), more modern screw-type expansion shut-offs, and standard narrow wooden chocks.
Through all these experiences in real life and training, I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to stop the flow of water entirely, and if the head is sheared off due to an accident, it’s impossible. What’s worse is that during all these situations, we’re getting soaked in some of the nastiest water imaginable—not to mention it seems pretty dangerous to stand on a slick ladder while attempting to shut down or slow the water flow.
Fortunately, there’s a product on the market that could change this: the Quickstop Talon Commercial Fire Sprinkler Tool. When I first saw the tool, I was upset that I hadn’t thought of the idea myself. It seemed so simple, as it is very similar to a pair of vice grips (something we’re all familiar with!). It weighs about 1 pound, and is 10 inches x 3 inches x 2 inches.
I got my hands on some sprinkler heads and a set up for fire sprinkler training. It was easy to figure out how the Quickstop tool worked, and it required no special instructions or training. To operate, I simply lined up the tool with the head, and when in contact with water, I squeezed the handle just like a set of vice grips. With the Quickstop tool, I was able to quickly stop the flow of water at various pressures and without getting soaked. (For a more detailed description of the operation, check out http://quick stoptool.com/products/talon.)
As stated earlier, I’m an officer on an engine company and usually not the guy using this type of tool on these types of incidents, so I went to a couple neighboring fire stations and allowed the truckies to evaluate the tool. Everyone who saw the device could easily figure out how it worked and were amazed at how much easier it was than our current tools.
Here are a few more details about the Quickstop Talon Commercial Fire Sprinkler Tool:
- It stops half-inch and three-fourth-inch heads that are intact, damaged or sheared.
- It comes equipped with a fusible link that allows water to start flowing again if a fire were to reignite or it took some time for the responsible party to fix the system.
- It has been tested up to 350 psi.
- It’s the only tool that can be remotely operated with a 12′ telescoping handle, therefore eliminating the need to get wet, become exposed to old moldy water or climb slick ladders. To see this operation, check out the following video: http://quickstoptool.com/videos/stop-fire-sprinklers-without-getting-wet).
The Quickstop is really a one-size-fits-all tool for stopping the flow of water from sprinkler heads. It’s competitively priced and comes with a full manufacturer warranty. You can see the tool in action for yourself at www.quickstoptool.com, where you can have 24-hour access to training videos for current and future employees to ensure maximum proficiency with the tool. And perhaps most importantly, this tool was invented by a firefighter! Give it a try for yourself.
Quickstop “Talon” Fire Sprinkler Tool
+ Simple to use
+ Durable yet lightweight
+ Requires no special training
+ Doesn’t get you soaked
+ Competitively priced with full warranty
Quickstop Fire Sprinkler Tools
3268 Governor Dr. #389
San Diego, CA 92122