Is your independent water supply sufficient?
Please see the information below for important points about your water supply and pumping considerations.
Roof Sprinklers and Fire hose Reels:
Tanking You has a vast knowledge for the most efficent and cost effective planning procedures for protecting your most valuable assests, your loved ones and home. Roof and ground sprinklers coupled up to a quality endorsed fire pump and an independant water source will reduce the risks significantly of losing your home and protecting your family in a fire.
Reserve Water Supply:
Properties which depend on electric pumps to obtain their water from a bore, dam, swimming pool or overhead tanks under pressure face the danger of having the power cut-off during a bushfire.
You will need a supplementary water supply under pressure, coupled to a diesel or petrol motor.
Fire water supplies serve three main functions:
- For use by householders to control spot fires and hot spots in and around their properties.
- For protecting the house from radiant heat and sparks using a garden and/or house sprinkler system.
- To supply CFS volunteer fire brigades involved in fighting the main fire.
To operate a sprinkler system you will need an independent water supply with a minimum 22,000 litre capacity.
Make sure that a water supply for firefighting is always kept in reserve. An overhead water tank fitted with gate valve and canvas hose/coupling or fire tank filler with a 22,000 litre capacity is recommended. Ensure your water supply is close to the house. Do not have exposed areas of plastic pipe or hose that can burn.
Gravity fed water tanks with wide opening outlets allows quick filling of buckets and use of your portable pump. Fit gate valves to all new tanks to use your pumping equipment.
Pump and Equipment:
A minimum 5hp (3.7kw) portable diesel or petrol motor coupled to a 38mm centrifugal fire pump will provide the independent water pressure needed for your emergency firefighting system when mains power is cut.
- Make sure the pump can be operated by any member of the family.
- Check the pump weekly during the Fire Danger Season to be sure it is fuelled and starts readily.
- A key start ignition is ideal.
- Keep the pump in a readily accessible shed in a protected area on the side of the house.
A general purpose petrol engine pump will work efficiently providing it has protection from the radiant heat to prevent fuel vaporization.
A portable water pump will ensure sufficient water pressure during a bushfire emergency.
The pump should have:
- Protective housing to stop fuel vaporization.
- Adequate ventilation for air cooling of the unit.
- An in-line filter to reduce the chance of blockage.
House the pump in a readily accessible shed protected on the side of the house away from the most likely direction of a bushfire.
Sprinkler systems can be extremely valuable in defending your home against bushfire, provided you have sufficient water supplies.In designing a sprinkler system, be sure to use metal sprinkler heads. Metal pipes are best. If plastic pipes are used they must be installed 40 cm underground so they will not melt. Sprinklers should be positioned so that the water canopy will not blow away in high winds or evaporate.
When planning a sprinkler system remember that fires are accompanied by high winds and high temperatures that can reduce the effectiveness of fine sprays. Keep the sprinklers operating until well after the fire has passed.
Verandas and balconies can be vulnerable areas of your home with their expanse of timbers open to spark and ember bearing winds.
Sprinklers that spray up towards roofing on verandas can help save your home. Consider sprinklers placed on the leading edge of guttering so the spray is blown down over the walls and windows and back onto the roof.
Garden sprinkler systems on the windward side can aid your fire prevention effort. Placement around from North to South-West can help retard fire progress towards the house area.
Fire protection of a property cannot rely on one factor; there will always be a number of measures which, when combined, will provide the best fire protection. However, when homes are located in areas of extreme fire danger, an external sprinkler system should be considered as an important part of the total fire protection plan. Before installing a system the following three points must be considered:
- Are you sure that someone will be home to turn the sprinklers on in the event of a bushfire? If this condition cannot always be met it may be wiser and cheaper to consider placing more emphasis on passive forms of fire protection like vegetation management and spark and ember proofing.
- Do you have sufficient water to enable a sprinkler system to operate for two to three hours? Reticulated mains water is not always available nor can it be relied upon. During a major fire the increased demand may reduce volume and pressure to many houses. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that an independent water supply of at least 22 000 L, be established.
- Do you have a means of providing adequate water pressure to operate the system? Like mains water a major fire may also cause the electricity supply to fail and on a day of extreme fire danger the power supply will be turned off. Therefore, it is important not to rely on an electric pump to supply pressure - a back up pump driven by a small petrol or diesel motor is essential.
Purpose of Sprinkler Systems:
Based on the above understanding, sprinkler systems may be designed for two purposes:
- To reduce the impact of radiant heat, direct flame contact and ember attack on the home by supplying a curtain of water that wets down the roof and walls.
- To reduce fire intensity by wetting down vegetation surrounding the home.
More information: CFS Website