How to choose a bushfire sprinkler system

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How to choose a bushfire sprinkler system

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Project Overview

If you live in a bushfire prone area a bushfire sprinkler system can help you to protect your home. We take you through the different sprinkler systems you can use, why it’s importance to buy the right equipment and how you can still protect your home even when there’s no power. 
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A simple tip to block your downpipe

If you need to block your downpipes due to a bushfire threat, but you don’t have a plug, you can use a tennis ball or a damp t-shirt to block them.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Make a plan for your backyard
2 Start by wetting around your home
3 Have sprinklers on the ground
4 Position sprinklers on the roof
5 Have a back-up generator
6 Be prepared and have a plan
  • Step 1. Make a plan for your backyard

    Before setting up your bushfire sprinkler system there are several things you need to consider. Work out how much land and property are you looking to protect, what the terrain is like, how much water you have available and how long that supply will last.

    You should also talk to a plumber to make sure you have enough water pressure and the right equipment to help protect your home.

    One of the most important things is to always buy good quality metal fittings and sprinklers. During a bushfire, plastic ones will melt and your home won’t be protected.

  • Step 2. Start by wetting around your home

    During a bushfire, one of the easiest ways to protect your home is to use the garden hose to wet the vegetation and grass around your house. The damper it is, the more it will reduce the intensity of the fire. Also, keep buckets of water and other large containers full of water to help extinguish spot fires.

  • Step 3. Have sprinklers on the ground

    You can create a curtain of water by placing sprinklers around your home. This will help to prevent flying embers from reaching your home. Be sure to use metal sprinklers with chrome or galvanised fittings. 
  • Step 4. Position sprinklers on the roof

    Putting sprinklers on your roof can reduce the impact of radiant heat, ember attacks and direct contact with the fire. Mount sprinklers at the gutter line and angle them to spray outwards. This way, they will spray water onto the roof and onto the walls below. Butterfly sprinklers can be joined together with galvanised pipe to make a series of them to cover the length of your roof. 

  • Step 5. Have a back-up generator

    During a bushfire, you may lose power and mains water pressure. If you need to defend your home, a generator and an independent water supply will come in handy. Pumps and generators should be able to pump 400 litres per minute. Hoses from the pump should be long enough to reach all corners of your home. They should also be durable, flexible and able to withstand high temperatures.

    Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to start and operate your generator. For this reason, generators with a push-button start are preferable to a pull-start.

  • Step 6. Be prepared and have a plan

    It’s important to make the decision early whether you want to leave or to stay and defend your property. If you do stay, make sure you are well prepared. That means you have access to power and water and have the right equipment to protect your home.

    For more information about choosing a bushfire sprinkler system and how to defend your home, visit your local fire authority website.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Garden hose
  • Sprinkler systems

Materials

  • Galvanised or copper pipe
  • Generator
  • 4

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