Fire hydrant installation is integral to safeguarding a building from potential fire hazards. Hydrants are a critical component of a fire protection system, providing firefighters with the water they need to contain and extinguish fires. Without the correct fire hydrant installation, people, property and possessions are at risk. Therefore, the importance of fire hydrant installation cannot be overstated.

Hydrants provide firefighters with the water they need to fight fires. The correct installation and maintenance of fire hydrants can mean the difference between a building being saved or destroyed in the event of a fire and put firefighters in danger if they don’t work. For this reason, all building owners and operators must be aware of the regulations related to fire hydrant installation in NSW to ensure their buildings comply with the latest safety standards and regulations.

In order to remain compliant, fire hydrants for NSW residential and commercial properties must be installed according to Australian Standard 2419.1 and BCA E1.3. These regulations aim to ensure that fire hydrants are installed safely and effectively, providing firefighters with the water they need to contain and extinguish fires effectively. The size, location, building classification and purpose of the building will dictate the specific requirements for fire hydrant installation.

The maintenance standard (AS1851.4) and the installation standard (AS 2419) are the same for commercial and residential buildings. However, the Building Code of Australia (BCA E1.3) has different requirements for the building classes (commercial or residential), which determines when hydrants need to be installed.

Standard fire hydrant installation and maintenance requirements are as follows:
• The hydrant must be connected to the fire main supply or other dedicated water tank.
• The water pressure must be able to provide a flow rate of 10 litres a second.
• The hydrant booster valves must be clearly marked and have a sign noting the water flow rate.
• The hydrant must be tested and maintained in accordance with Australian Standard 1851.
• An fire services technician must inspect the hydrant regularly.
• All valves, connections and other components must be secured in the correct position, in good working order and accessible.
• Tested at least once every six months in accordance with AS 1851.
• Maintained and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Accessible at all times and kept clear of any obstructions.
• Provide easy access for firefighting personnel.
• Fitted with an approved backflow prevention device.

Fire Hydrant Installation FAQs

1.

Q: What is the difference between a street hydrant and one installed in a building? Do you need to have both, and are they connected?

A: Street hydrants are underground and sit directly on the fire main in the road. An on-site hydrant is generally above ground and is installed on properties over 500m2 and/or where the street hydrant can’t provide the coverage (the fire brigade hoses are generally a max of 60m long, or the street hydrant can’t meet the demand requirements.

2.

Q: Are there standard distance/location requirements for hydrants?

A: Most recent buildings need to be located within 4m, outside the fire exits (the exits will become the entry point for the fire brigade). They a normally installed on each level inside fire-isolated stairwells. Fire brigade hoses are 30m long, so no point in an area requiring coverage can be more than 30m from a landing valve. With special approval and the correct signage, longer distances can be in the case, but the brigade needs to connect 2 x 30m hoses together.

3.

Q: What are the specific signage requirements for hydrants?

A: If there is a bridge booster point (normally when there are more than two on-site landing valves), there needs to be a block plan. The block plan tells the brigade (before they enter a burning building) what the minimum pressure and flow rates are and the location of the landing valves, along with key building features, such as entry points, stairwells, etc. Landing valves in side cabinets will also need identification signage.

4.

Q: Are there different types/sizes of hydrants required for different buildings?

A: Landing valves are generally the same, i.e., they have a 65mm opening. NSW and QLD used to use different fire brigade connection threads, but most of these have now migrated to Storz quick connect fitting.

For fire hydrant installation requirements specific to your building, contact Betta Fire Protection today on (02) 8669 9100 and make sure you’re compliant.