Accelerated Development is Challenging Fire Department Resources

In metropolitan areas across the United States, vertical structures are going higher than ever before. In rural America, large retailers and manufacturers are building an increasing number of big-box buildings. Land use challenges are driving a proliferation of below-grade parking structures, tunnel systems, and materials and equipment storage facilities. In the wake of this accelerated development, fire departments are being challenged to keep pace with growth, manage risk, and keep their communities safe.

Providing Air Resupply in Large Structures is a Slow, Labor Intensive Process

Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) play a crucial role in ensuring life safety in jurisdictions across the country. In large structures where the delivery of air resupply to firefighters presents significant logistical challenge, they are critical to life safety.

The Solution: A Building-Installed Standpipe for Air

FARS are a building-installed standpipe for air. Just as water standpipes replaced hand buckets as a delivery system for water, FARS replace the slow, labor-intensive process of hand-carrying replacement air bottles up numerous flights of stairs in a high-rise or deep into a large horizontal structure.

Without a ready supply of air replenishment, firefighters cannot survive in smoky environments. If air re supply does not arrive, firefighters must exit the building to find it, removing them from fire attack, search and rescue, and other life-saving tasks. 

Air Bottle Refill in as Quickly as 2 Minutes or Less

FARS are designed to allow firefighters to refill their air bottles in as quickly as 2 minutes or less under full respiration at fill stations located throughout the interior of a building, greatly reducing the risk of exposure to toxic smoke.

Now Required by Code in Cities Across the U.S.

Cities across the country have updated their fire codes to require FARS in new construction of large buildings. The FAC supports these efforts. 

US Fire Code Tracker

NYU Fire Research Group FARS Video Series

Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) - Interior Air Fill Panel
Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) - Interior Air Fill Station
Firefighter Air Replenishment Systems (FARS) - EMAC connection with MAU


FARS are a building-installed standpipe for air that delivers air replenishment to firefighters. They are designed to provide firefighters with a quick, dependable, and constant source of air resupply at fill stations located throughout the interior of a structure. Just as water standpipes provide water, FARS provides air.

FARS are designed to allow firefighters to refill air bottles in as quickly as 2 minutes or less.

During the construction process, FARS installers pull seamless stainless steel tubing up through stairway shafts. Air-fill stations are located at various locations in designated stairways or in air resource closets, depending on the preference of the authority having jurisdiction. Every other floor is a common requirement.

The air-fill stations are equipped with simple high-pressure hoses designed to fill two air bottles within two minutes. In the first stages of firefighting, the air supply comes from an on-site cascade located in an air resource room, normally located on the ground floor of the building. Later, air can be supplied by a fire department's mobile air unit.

FARS are not just for high-rises. FARS are designed for high-rises, mid-rises, big box structures, tunnels, other underground structures, marine and offshore. FARS solves the logistical problem of delivering air resupply in these complex structures.

Every authorized FARS is monitored on a 24-7-365 basis for carbon monoxide, air pressure, and moisture levels. Testing and certification are typically performed on a quarterly basis.

A recent study of nearly 7,000 air quality reports on FARS systems over a 7-year period found that the air in FARS exceeds NFPA 1989 standards. In fact, FARS air quality was more compliant with NFPA 1989 standards than non-FARS fire department compressed breathing air samples.

Reports on FARS air quality can be found here:

FARS uses air from large, commercial air bottles found in the air supply room of the building or from a fire department's mobile air unit. The system is pressurized constantly, making breathing air immediately available to first responders. Air is delivered to each air-fill panel through continuous (not welded) seamless stainless-steel tubing, like those used in medical gas systems found in hospitals and clinics.

FARS doesn’t impact fire department budgets. When a system is required by the local fire code, a building owner/operator pays for installation and maintenance, just as other fire protection equipment like sprinkler systems and fire alarms. The only cost to a local fire department is to train personnel on how to use the system. Training is quick, efficient, and can be easily integrated into current training programs. The Firefighter Air Coalition can assist departments with developing a comprehensive training program.

Yes. The most recent report of the use of FARS in a working fire was in 2021 in Frisco, Texas. Fire crews responded to a fire on the 12th floor of the 17-story Twelve Cowboys Way luxury high-rise apartment building. As part of the firefighting effort, crews deployed the building's FARS system. A total of 19 units and 43 personnel were used to help extinguish the blaze. The FARS system performed perfectly, and, more importantly, there were no civilians or firefighters injured.

The Firefighter Air Coalition offers a FARS Code Adoption Guide that outlines the steps to FARS code adoption. 

Yes. Many buildings have been retrofitted with FARS, including the iconic Montreal Olympic Tower.

Connect with a Code Advocate

Our FAC advocates are highly respected retired fire service professionals, each with specific subject matter expertise. They are available to assist you in learning more about FARS.  Request to be connected with an advocate to help guide you through the FARS code adoption and implementation process.