Fire on a construction site raises the importance of hydrants and reels

08 October 2017

The lack of a functioning booster line and hydrant connections during construction  caused difficulties for firefighter's extinguishing the fire .

Fire fighters faced delays fighting the fire due to lack of water pressure.

The owners of a construction project have been issued with an emergency fire safety order, following a blaze that damaged one of the buildings in a $600 million development site.

Although this incident occurred in NSW, the Australian Standards and National Construction Code are applicable throughout Australia. OH&S legislation in NSW is different to that of Victoria, however with regard to providing a safe workplace and fire safety management, the same  principles apply.

The above incident occurred during the weekend when there were no workers on site. The obvious problems regarding adequate emergency procedures have been highlighted with the probable injury or loss of life that may have occurred should have the fire broke out when workers were on site.

The PPTEU has published for a long period of time a Safety Bulletin to assist any interested parties to understand the requirements in Victoria, and coincidentally updated the Bulletin early this month.

A Fire and Rescue NSW spokeswoman confirmed the order had been issued to ensure fire hydrants and booster connections were installed “to suit the operational requirements of FRNSW”.

The order, made in accordance with the provisions of the National Construction Code, also included the installation of portable fire extinguishers.

“In the event of a fire, operational fire hydrants and booster connections are necessary for firefighters to commence firefighting operations,” the FRNSW spokeswoman said.

Under the National Construction Code, buildings under construction are required to have operational fire hydrants and booster connections installed when the building has reached a height of 12m.

Firefighters initially had difficulties extinguishing the fire on September 8 due to a lack of water pressure in the area.

The cause of the fire is unknown.

To read more on this incident, please see the Daily Telegraph news article.