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Archived News Release from 2011

For Immediate Release

Redwood City Fire Department Reports Thefts of Fire Sprinkler System Fittings

Redwood City, CA - August 9, 2011 - The Redwood City Fire Department reports that over the past several weeks, numerous thefts of brass fittings from fire sprinkler and fire standpipes systems have been observed by fire department personnel on routine inspections in Redwood City and San Carlos. The theft of these critical fire department connections prohibits the fire department from pumping water into the fire systems in the event of a structure fire.

Fire officials urge all building owners to inspect their fire sprinkler/standpipe systems daily to verify that the fire department connections have not been tampered with or stolen. If they have been stolen, building owners need to have them replaced immediately and to notify their local fire department immediately. The Redwood City Police Department has increased their awareness by actively looking for persons loitering around the fire department connections.

“The operations of a fire sprinkler and standpipe system are critical to the fire departments operations procedure for rescue and firefighting operations,” according to James Palisi, Fire Marshal for the Redwood City Fire Department. “If these fire department connections are missing upon our arrival, immediate operational changes must occur, which slows our rescue and fire suppression efforts.”

Fire Department personnel have developed some contingency plans but many different types are installed for the systems and some can’t be field repaired by fire department staff. The theft or tampering of fire department connections or systems is a misdemeanor under the California Penal Code, section 148, and if the theft results in injury or death, enhancement charges can also be filed against the person or persons stealing the connections. Fire officials report they are extremely pleased with the observance of citizens reporting the theft of the fire department connections. For further information, contact the City of Redwood City Fire Department at (650) 780-7400.

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Jim Palisi, Fire Marshal
Redwood City Fire Department


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