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Complete Guide to FDC Sign Requirements

Complete Guide to FDC Sign Requirements

Rapid response during fire emergencies is crucial for minimizing harm or injury to people, as well as damage to the structure or facility. To extinguish fires as quickly as possible, fire departments rely heavily on Fire Department Connections (FDCs).

Being able to quickly identify and access an FDC in the event of a fire is critical. One of the best ways to ensure this happens is by properly labeling FDCs throughout a facility with FDC signs.

Now, we’ll go through some frequently asked questions and best practices for using fire department connection signs.

What are fire department connections?

fdc sign in front of a building with an fdc next to it.

FDCs are crucial components of a building’s fire protection system. They are designed to facilitate the rapid and efficient supply of water to firefighting operations. These connections serve as dedicated access points that enable firefighters to connect their hoses to the building’s internal fire sprinkler or standpipe system.

FDCs are typically located on the exterior of buildings, often near the main entrance or in other easily accessible areas. They play a pivotal role in ensuring that firefighters have a reliable and immediate water source to effectively combat fires, minimizing potential damage and safeguarding lives and property.

What are the different types of fire department connections?

There are three main types of FDC installations. The connection type is usually chosen based on installation locations, building accessibility, size, systems, and water requirements.

  • Freestanding- these FDCs stand apart from the building, usually near a sidewalk. The supply pipe generally runs vertically into the ground.
  • Exposed- this type of FDC is typically located on the side of a building. The connection is visible, but the supply pipe is hidden.
  • Flush- Similar to exposed FDCs, these connections are also located on the side of a building. The difference is that the body and the pipe are both hidden.

Why Are FDC Signs Important?

Fire Department Connection (FDC) signs are essential for enhancing the safety and efficiency of firefighting operations in buildings and structures. These highly visible and strategically placed signs serve as markers that indicate the precise location of the FDCs.

The type of FDC and its configuration will help you determine which FDC signs are best for your specific needs.

For example, FDCs that feature two inlets that are attached to a body will require a Siamese Connection Sign. These connections are traditionally used on larger buildings to provide water to fire sprinklers and standpipe systems.

Facilities with a standpipe system should utilize Standpipe FDC Signs to inform firefighters and emergency personnel about the specific type of standpipe system in use.

FDC signs are not only a legal requirement in many jurisdictions but also a vital aid that ensures rapid response and effective firefighting. There are many different FDC sign options, so picking the right ones for your facility is important.

At SafetySign.Com, we offer a variety of FDC signs to meet your building or facility’s needs. Most of our standard FDC signs have customizable options, such as adding lines of text, to help ensure optimal visibility and accessibility for firefighters during critical moments.

Where Should FDC Signs Be Placed?

According to the International Fire Code, FDC signs should be placed “on the street front or on the side of the building. Such sign shall have the letters “FDC” at least 6 inches (152 mm) high and words in letters at least 2 inches (51 mm) high or an arrow to indicate the location. All such signs shall be subject to the approval of the fire code official.”

Shop all of our IFC-compliant FDC signs.


FDCs stand as essential lifelines, providing the vital link between a building’s internal fire suppression systems and the firefighting efforts that safeguard lives and property. The seamless integration and proper identification of FDCs ensure that firefighters can swiftly access a dependable water source during emergencies, enabling them to effectively combat fires and mitigate potential disasters.

However, the significance of FDCs extends beyond their mere presence, as the inclusion of FDC signs plays a pivotal role in optimizing their functionality. FDC signs, with their clear labeling, strategic placement, and customized designs, serve as guiding beacons for firefighters, ensuring rapid identification and connection to water supplies.

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