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New York City Administrative Code (NEW): (27-932 - 27-953)
Standpipe Requirements
ARTICLE 3

STANDPIPE REQUIREMENTS
§ 27-940 Siamese connections required. Siamese connections shall be provided as follows:
(a) One siamese connection shall be provided for each three hundred feet of exterior building wall or fraction thereof facing upon each street or public space.
(b) Where buildings face upon two parallel streets or public spaces without an intersecting street or public space, one siamese shall be provided for each three hundred feet of exterior building wall or fraction thereof facing upon each such parallel street or public space.
(c) Where a building faces upon two intersecting streets or public spaces and the total length of the exterior building walls facing upon such streets or public spaces does not exceed three hundred feet only one siamese connection need be installed provided the siamese connection is located within fifteen feet of the corner and on the longer street.
(d) Where a building faces on three streets or public spaces, one siamese connection shall be provided for each three hundred feet of building wall or fraction thereof facing upon such streets or public spaces, provided that at least one siamese connection is installed on each of the parallel streets or public spaces, and further provided that the siamese connections shall be located so that the distance between them does not exceed three hundred feet.
(e) Where a building faces upon four streets or public spaces, at least one siamese connection shall be provided on each street front or public space; however, only one siamese connection need be provided at the corner of two intersecting streets or public spaces if the siamese connection is located within fifteen feet of the corner and on the longer street or public space, and if the distances between siamese connections, in all cases, does not exceed three hundred feet.
(f) In any case where the exterior building walls of a building facing a street or public space is obstructed in part by another building, one siamese connection shall be provided for each clear three hundred feet of exterior building wall or fraction thereof facing upon such street or public space.

Siamese Connection

A siamese connection is a standpipe that has two connections side by side. It is typically located outside at the ground floor of a building. It is used to feed water by the Fire Department to the buildings sprinkler system. The fire department pumps are attached to the street siamese to deliver water from street hydrants.

from "It’s No Hydrant, but This Hardware Plays a Critical Role in Fires"
By CHARLES DELAFUENTE
Published: August 26, 2007, The New York Times

...standpipes originated in New York City about the time of the Civil War, along with sprinkler systems, “as buildings grew taller and as the philosophy of firefighting evolved.” Before that time, he explained, “most fires were fought from the outside.”

AND:

A typical standpipe system begins with the street-level connection, known as a Siamese, which is connected to pipes that run vertically or horizontally inside the building and connect to vertical pipes that run to the top of the building. The vertical pipes are what most people think of as the standpipe.

...The vertical pipes, often painted red, are exposed in a building’s stairwells, and there is a connection on each floor to which firefighters can hook up hoses.

Water, and water pressure, are supplied by the Fire Department. When there is a fire in a building equipped with a standpipe system, the first engine company to arrive connects a hose to the nearest hydrant and another to the Siamese connection in front of the building, according to Firefighter Jim Long, a department spokesman. The pumper boosts the pressure of the water being fed from the hydrant to the Siamese and then to the vertical standpipe.