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AUSTRALIAN STANDARDS

  • Hydrant Installations: AS 2419.1

  • Hosereel Installations: AS 2441

  • Sprinkler Systems: AS 2118 series AS 2118.1 General Systems AS 2118.2 Drencher Systems AS 2118.4 Residential Buildings up to 4 Storeys AS 2118.6 Combined Sprinkler and Hydrant Systems

FIRE SYSTEMS

  • Fire hydrants

  • Fire hose reel systems

  • Automatic fire sprinkler system

Wall wetting sprinklers (drenchers)

Domestic and residential sprinklers.

Fire compartment: This is a total building space or area that is separated from other spaces by walls and floors that offer some level of fire resistance.

Class A fires: These are fires that involve a carbonaceous (a substance rich in carbon) solid.

Fire hazard classes: There are three classes of fire hazard that relate to the amount and types of combustible material present and the expected size of the fire.

  • 1. High hazard large fire expected, eg woodworking areas.

  • 2. Light hazard small initial fire expected eg domestic houses, offices and classrooms.

  • 3. Ordinary hazard moderate size fire expected eg showrooms, storage and display areas.

Fire hydrant system: A fire hydrant system consists of an assembly of pipework and components that allow a fire brigade to access a controlled water supply to attack fires.

Fire hydrant: This is an assembly installed on a branch from a water supply pipeline which allows water to be taken to attack fires. Fire hydrants may be internal or external to a building.

Fire brigade booster assembly: This assembly allows the fire brigade to pump water into a fire hydrant system to boost the fire mains. Boosters help maintain effective water pressure when multiple hydrants are being used.

Fire hydrant, attack: This is a fire hydrant connected into a fire hydrant booster assembly. The fire hose may be attached directly to the attack fire hydrant.

Fire hydrant, feed: This hydrant supplies water to the fire brigade pumping appliance. It does not supply water directly to the fire hose.

Hardstand: This is a pavement area that provides access and support to the fire brigade pumping appliance.

Fire hydrants

Fire hydrants are generally placed external to a building. Internal hydrants may be installed if some portion of the building cannot be protected by an external one. Multiple hydrants may be required in your system design depending on the size of the property and the reach of the hoses.

The pressure available to fire hydrants is important. There must be sufficient pressure so that the fire hose nozzles can force the water to break into fine droplets which is the most effective against fires. The pressure must also be sufficient to allow multiple hydrants to operate at the same time without disadvantaging the rest of the system.

The following points relate to hydrant performance:

  • The water flow velocity in fire hydrant system pipework cannot exceed 4 m/s.

  • All fire hydrants have a required minimum outlet flow rate of 10 litres per second (L/s).

  • The minimum residual pressure at each hydrant is 150 kPa.

You must contact the water authority to obtain the maximum and minimum pressure at the site. You will also need to know the:

  • flow residual pressure at 10 litres per second

  • flow residual pressure at the ordinance flow rate capacity required.

The flow rate and residual pressure may increase due to the number of hydrants and

installed positions and the mains pressure or pumping requirements. If the water supply cannot meet the pressure requirements a pump is required.

Example - Mains pressure inquiry

The water authority for a site provides you with the following information:

 

minimum pressure available 32 m head

maximum pressure available 47 m head

residual pressure 32 m head (with a fire demand of 10 litres/second)

residual pressure 30 m head (with a fire demand of 20 litres/second).

The system design must allow all hydrants, including the most hydraulically disadvantaged, to operate at the required minimum flow rate.

Table 2.1 in AS 2419.1 provides advice on the class and floor area of particular buildings and the minimum number of hydrants that must be able to flow simultaneously.

Fire hose reel systems

Local councils administer the Building Code of Australia which nominates the type of fire protection required in buildings, including the use of hose reel systems.

The following criteria should be considered:

  • the class of building and its use eg. office, warehouse, factory, residential

  • rise in storeys

  • total floor area.

Where hose reels are to be connected to a fire hydrant system, including internal hydrants, they shall be installed beside the fire hydrants.

As is the case with fire hydrants the water supply authority will supply all the necessary details of pressure and flow rates available in the water main at the building connection point. Hydraulic calculations for pipe sizes will be carried out based on these figures.

Table 6.1 in AS 2441 states that at an inlet pressure 220 kPa (±10 kPa), the minimum discharge at the most hydraulically disadvantaged hose reel shall be:

19 mm diameter hose 0.33 L/s 25 mm diameter hose 0.41 L/s. The minimum size supply pipe shall be not less than 25 mm.

Fire services components

Fire services have basic components similar to those in hot, cold and warm water systems. Refer to Section 8 in AS 2419.1 for information on pipework and valves for fire services.

Above ground fire hydrants have a valve to control the flow of water through the hydrant. The valve will be DN 65 and be fitted with hose connections that meet the requirements of the local fire brigade.

Hydrant valves must be protected by chained caps and be sealed with wire to stop the unauthorised use of water.

Isolating valves are required on both fire hydrant and fire hose reel fire services. On fire hydrants they may be above or below ground. Clause 8.5.6 in AS 2419.1 provides information on the locating of isolating valves in ring main systems.

All fire service isolating valves must be secured in the open position to allow immediate access by the fire brigade.

A ring main is a ring of pipework, possibly with several inlet pipes, which supplies a series of properties. The advantage is that the water has two routes to each property making it easier to isolate a section for maintenance without interrupting the flow. A ring main is required on properties that contain large isolated buildings and buildings in excess of 25 m in height. The fire hydrant system is considered more reliable if a ring main is installed.

Refer to Clause 8.5.5 in AS 2419.1 for information on the design of ring mains.

Layout
Layout

Locating fire hydrants

The location of fire hydrants must consider accessibility, obstructions and proximity to the building being protected. You must also consider if the hydrant is to be located internal or external to the building.

Fire hydrants may be:

external to the building internal to the building on the roof top servicing an open yard or marina. The position of hydrants is related to the length of a fire hose, which is 30 m. All distances are calculated as the most direct, laid-flat-on-ground route that a fire hose could be laid to and inside the building. This includes a path up or down stairs or ramps.

External hydrants may have two fire hoses connected to them which gives a total maximum length of 60 m. In general, external hydrants must be positioned to allow:

pedestrian access to the building for the fire brigade

access within 20 m to a hard stand

all parts of the building to be within reach of a 10 m spray from the fire hose nozzle

(given the hose is 60 m, laid on the ground) the hose to extend 1 m into any room being protected by the fire system

10 m distance to the building it is protecting

10 m distance to high voltage electrical mains or combustible storage facilities

good access and protection from vehicular damage.

 pedestrian access to the building for the fire brigade  access within 20 m to

External hydrants servicing multi-storey developments will generally only be able to access one storey below and one storey above the point of access given the 60 m hose limit. Internal hydrants may be required on the other storeys.

Refer to Clause 3.2.2 External fire hydrants, in AS 2419.1 for more detailed information on the location of external fire hydrants particularly if the hydrant is being installed as a feed or attack system or contains a fire booster assembly.

Internal hydrants are required to protect parts of the building that cannot be protected by anRoof fire hydrants Enclosed roof top plant rooms (other than lift machine rooms) require a fire hydrant if they exceed 250 m . The hydrant must meet the requirement of Clause 3.2.3 in AS 2419.1 . Open yards and marinas Hydrants must be located to protect all areas of an open yard and marinas following the same requirements as external fire hydrants. Locating hose reels Hose reels must be located so as to allow: all parts of the floor to be within reach of a 4 m spray from the fire hose nozzle (given the hose is a maximum 36 m, laid on the ground) ready access along the path to an exit no interference with the running out of the hose protection from mechanical damage and freezing if external. Refer to Clause 10 in AS 2441 for further information on the location of fire hose reels     PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS " id="pdf-obj-4-2" src="pdf-obj-4-2.jpg">

Internal hydrants are required to protect parts of the building that cannot be protected by an external hydrant. They will only cover the level on which they are installed.

all parts of the building to be within reach of a 10 m spray from the fire hose nozzle (given the hose is 30 m, laid on the ground) the hose to extend 1 m into the area being protected by the fire system Refer to Clause 3.2.3 Internal fire hydrants, in AS 2419.1 for more detailed information on the location of internal fire hydrants particularly in the case of fire-isolated and non fire- isolated exits.

Enclosed roof top plant rooms (other than lift machine rooms) require a fire hydrant if they exceed 250 m 2 . The hydrant must meet the requirement of Clause 3.2.3 in AS 2419.1.

Hydrants must be located to protect all areas of an open yard and marinas following the same requirements as external fire hydrants.

Locating hose reels

Internal hydrants are required to protect parts of the building that cannot be protected by anRoof fire hydrants Enclosed roof top plant rooms (other than lift machine rooms) require a fire hydrant if they exceed 250 m . The hydrant must meet the requirement of Clause 3.2.3 in AS 2419.1 . Open yards and marinas Hydrants must be located to protect all areas of an open yard and marinas following the same requirements as external fire hydrants. Locating hose reels Hose reels must be located so as to allow: all parts of the floor to be within reach of a 4 m spray from the fire hose nozzle (given the hose is a maximum 36 m, laid on the ground) ready access along the path to an exit no interference with the running out of the hose protection from mechanical damage and freezing if external. Refer to Clause 10 in AS 2441 for further information on the location of fire hose reels     PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS " id="pdf-obj-4-33" src="pdf-obj-4-33.jpg">

Hose reels must be located so as to allow:

all parts of the floor to be within reach of a 4 m spray from the fire hose nozzle (given the hose is a maximum 36 m, laid on the ground) ready access along the path to an exit no interference with the running out of the hose protection from mechanical damage and freezing if external. Refer to Clause 10 in AS 2441 for further information on the location of fire hose reels

PORTABLE FIRE EXTINGUISHERS

  • 8.10.1. Factors affecting selection

    • Physical factors, which affect the selection and need consideration, include the following:- Only Extinguishers fitted with Brass valves are to be used, Plastic valves will not be allowed to be installed.
      Choice of an appropriate extinguishing medium to protect against the type of fire most likely to occur Size and mass of fire extinguisher and the ability of the user to carry and operate it
      Effects of adverse environmental conditions on the fire extinguisher and its support fixture Possibility of adverse reactions, contamination or other effects of an extinguishment on manufacturing process or other equipment.
      Possibility of winds or draughts affecting the distribution of the extinguishment.

      • 8.10.2. Location of Portable Fire Extinguishes

The location of each portable fire extinguisher shall comply with section 3 of AS2444,

AS2982, the Building Code of Australia and also at the discretion of the University’s

Technical Officer (Fire Services).

  • 8.10.3. Distribution of Portable Fire Extinguishes

In general, the distribution of portable fire extinguishers shall be in accordance with the hazard classification of the area to be protected. (See section 4 AS2444). Provide sufficient extinguishers of an appropriate type throughout the building with regard to the hazards that can be expected in the various areas. In general the following extinguishers should be used for standardization and shall be provided.

General office areas

Dry Powder (ABE type)

CO2

2.5Kg

Commercial Cooking Areas Computer Laboratories

Wet Chemical

7.5 Litre 3.5 Kg

Plant Rooms Fume Cupboards Designated Exits Adjacent each fire hose Reel cabinet

Dry Powder (ABE) Dry Powder (ABE) Dry Powder (ABE) Dry Powder (ABE)

2.5 Kg 5 b Rating 4.5 Kg 4.5 Kg