Provide Water for Firefighting
Putting water on fires that threaten your home is the best way to extinguish them. However, during a bushfire mains water pressure may drop or fail altogether. If you rely on tank water and an electric pump, this will be useless if power supplies are interrupted - a generator, or a diesel or petrol-powered pump is an important backup.
Pumps can be heavy, so consider mounting the pump on a trolley that will make it easier to move around. It is important that all those likely to stay and defend your property know how to start and operate the pump.
Caution: Petrol-powered pumps and generators are okay as long as they are shielded from high ambient temperature, as this is likely to cause petrol in the carburettor to vaporise and the engine to stall. Petrol engines in above or below-ground insulated boxes and well-ventilated under-floor spaces may continue to operate effectively.
Whether you're staying to protect your home or leaving it, it is essential to have water available. Firefighters might need it even if you are not there.
Consider alternative water sources such as a nearby pond or dam, creek, swimming pool or water tank. The TFS estimates that if you are relying on one of these alternative water supplies, in the most intense bushfires, you may need up to 10,000 litres or 2,500 gallons of water to defend your home.
You should make it accessible to fire trucks, and it is advisable to have a 65 mm valve with a DIN or NEN standard forged Storz 65 mm adaptor fitted with a suction washer (the old 64mm 5V thread is still in use and acceptable), outlet fitted to your water tanks to allow for direct connection by firefighters.
Plastic tanks and pipes melt
Plastic tanks, exposed plastic pipes, fittings & hoses may melt in the heat of a fire - just when you need them the most. To avoid this;
· Install steel or concrete tanks. If installing a plastic tank, ensure it is at least 30 metres from the bush, and not too close to any other fuels such as a wood-pile, shed, shrubs and other flammable fuels.
· Use metal pipes and pipe fittings rather than plastic fittings above ground, and
· Bury any plastic pipes (PVC & poly pipes) at least 30 centimetres underground.