A sprinkler system for householders in highly bushfire-exposed locations has demonstrated its effectiveness in a major fire that engulfed the Anakie district of Victoria in the last week of January.
A privately owned residence in an area that had been totally burnt out was saved of damage by a Blaze Control bushfire sprinkler system, which the owner installed about six years ago.
The owner, who remained with his house in accordance with CFA recommendations throughout the fire storm, also believes that without the Blaze Control sprinkler system he would have lost his own life because the fire was so intense.
The Blaze Control bushfire sprinkler system consists of a roof mounted copper pipe reticulation system with brass sprinkler heads specially designed to protect all building openings including windows, decks, sky lights, gas bottles and under floor areas where applicable.
Each custom designed system is designed to protect the complete building structure, while the sprinklers provide a further protected area of two to three metres of surrounding garden area or vegetation.
According to Bill Hayes principal of Blaze Control, the Anakie installation worked exactly as designed and the property owner had operated the system as recommended.
Sensing that the fire situation was getting serious at about 4pm, he ran the sprinkler system at low volume to wet down the building and immediate area.
This installation draws on 44,000L of rain water stored in two tanks adjacent to the house.
The system includes a Davey Firefighter engine powered pump (Firefighter is a registered trademark of Davey Water Products).
The owner also had access to another water supply from a dam and was able to top up one of his two tanks so that adequate water for fire protection was at hand.
Even the two plastic tanks are protected by sprinklers and survived the fire undamaged.
By 7.30pm, the fire storm hit with fire balls rolling down the driveway of the property.
At this point the owner moved inside in accord with CFA recommendations, with the sprinkler system running at its full design capacity.
Blaze Control bushfire sprinkler systems have been installed at numerous private homes, schools and public buildings in bushfire prone areas of southern Australia.
The latest incident at Anakie is the third of the sprinkler installations where a total save has been effected.
A high quality petrol or diesel engine with either pull or electric start like one of the Davey Firefighter’s range forms a critical component for many household bushfire prevention strategies.
Fire authorities like Victoria's CFA recommend that home owners should have a fire protection plan with either a stay and defend or leave strategy.
A Davey Firefighter with a hose kit can draw on rainwater tanks, a dam or even the water stored in swimming pools.
Davey always advises residents in bushfire prone situations to prepare their fire protection plan early.
Davey dealers has a legion of stories of property owners queuing up at their stores to buy a Davey Firefighter and hose kits just when the fire is coming over an adjacent ridge.