What is a fire hydrant system

fire hydrant system

Fire hydrant system is used as emergency equipment, designed to facilitate the fire department in the case of a fire outbreak. Fire hydrant systems is a safety requirement on streets and in work/apartment buildings as it provides immediate aid in the case of a fire. As firetrucks do not have the capability to supply the excessive amount of water sometimes required to put out a fire, these hydrant systems provide an excellent water source. These water sources are connected to a network of valves that provide enough glow and pressure to supply water immediately. Efficiency is key when it comes to fighting fires. For higher efficiency, fire hydrant installation is done in association with other emergency systems like automated fire sprinklers and fire hose reels. 

There is a strict code that must be followed within Australia. The BCA (building code of Australia) has a DTS (deemed to satisfy) policy for fire hydrant installation. This policy requires that buildings maintain a fire hydrant system that conveniently facilitates the water supply requirements. The system must assist in fire-fighting operations, controlling fire hazards, and covering the floor area of the building. 

Fire hydrants are painted with bright colours such as red and yellow, as it helps with identification in the case of an emergency. Various other colours are used to specify and outline important information, such as the amount of water and pressure it’s provided at. 

A key objective that’s kept in mind during the design of a fire hydrant, is its pressure and flow. This is especially critical for hydrants located in hydrologically disadvantageous areas. 

Working of a fire hydrant system

Fire hydrants are categorised into two types: dry barrel hydrants and wet barrel hydrants. In the colder regions where freezing temperatures are more common, dry barrel hydrants are used to provide insulation by using depth to prevent the freezing of the water supply. In hotter and dry regions, wet barrel hydrants are used and are water-filled at all times. They have multiple operating stems that run horizontally to each outlet. 

The components of a fire hydrant system include water and storage supply, valves and pipework, fire brigade booster, pumpset, hydrant valve, hydrant, or landing and coupling valve and a block plan. 

The major role of a fire hydrant system is to store and supply water. So, how do fire hydrants operate? When a firefighter opens a hydrant valve, the water pressure drops in the hydrant system. The pressure switch, which operates the booster pumps, is detected by the pressure drop. The water is drawn from the supply to compensate for the pressure drop. Then, the water is channeled to a nozzle, which is sprayed outside onto the fire. The fire brigade’s purpose is to supply additional water, helping to boost the water pressure to assist in putting the fire out completely. 

One of the major advantages fire hydrants pose is that they are able to supply a large volume of water. The water is pumped via hoses to the fire truck and then it is later distributed into several hoses to achieve multiple water supplies.