The BCA in accordance with the Australia Standard for Fire Hydrant Installations, AS2419.1 (clause 7.2) requires a booster connection to be installed when any of the following conditions apply:
- Internal fire hydrants are installed;
- External on-site fire hydrants are installed more than 20 metres from a fire brigade pumping appliance hardstand;
- More than six external on-site ground fire hydrants are installed;
- A pump set is installed;
- On-site storage tanks are installed; or
- More than one external on-site fire hydrant is required to serve a building where the floor area of any fire compartment is greater than 2000m2.
To ensure installed equipment meets DFES’s operational requirements, testing of complex fire safety systems may be undertaken by DFES’s BEB prior to occupation.
Booster tests undertaken by DFES requires several personnel and significant resources. Building companies making application to DFES for a test should only be submitted when the fire hydrant or sprinkler system has been fully installed and commissioned and the site is ready for DFES to carry out functional testing. DFES suggests approximately 4-6 weeks before practical completion is appropriate. Priority for inspections and testing is given to buildings having complex fire systems as determined by DFES. DFES attendance at the site is to confirm the installed fire safety systems meet its Operational Requirements only and does not constitute approval of the system/s compliance with codes, standards or building regulations, which is the role of the Building Surveyor providing certification for the project.
The contractor is required to submit a request for a test using the form below;
- Hydrant Booster and Pre-Test Requirements Form
- On receipt of the form a DFES officer will be appointed to undertake liaison with the site supervisor and make contact with them to provide their details. DFES will require a copy of the booster system block plan prior to undertaking an inspection or test.
Pre Test Site Inspection
Applications may be selected for a site inspection prior to testing by DFES.
The inspection will normally be carried out within 14 working days upon receipt of the application. If the Hydrant Booster System and safety conditions are met at the time of inspection, DFES will arrange with the local fire station for testing to be carried out within 14 working days. However, if unsafe conditions exist or the installation is incorrect, DFES will not schedule any testing until the outstanding issues have been rectified.
Note: Please note that it may take longer to arrange for an inspection and test in regional areas.
Where non-compliances or deviations from the original plans assessed by DFES are identified on inspection, the owners or representative will be required to make necessary alterations and re-submit an application for a Hydrant Booster test.
A site inspection prior to testing provides DFES with the opportunity to:
- Ensure the booster system has been installed in accordance with the plans that BEB has previously assessed.
- Confirm the installation is complete and ready to be tested.
- Assess the site for the safety and logistical requirements to carry out the test.
- Ensure adequate parking for fire appliances. The site needs to have appropriate parking space available for the fire appliances to park whilst within reach of the fire Hydrant Booster System.
- Determine if road closure or traffic diversion is required. If it is necessary for the road to be cordoned off or closed, advice will be provided to the site coordinator responsible for making such arrangements.
- Assess activity on the building site if work is still being carried out on the premises, it is the responsibility of the site supervisor to ensure that the area is cleared of any personnel on the day of testing.
- Consider water spray and the amount of water that will be sprayed during the test and to where the water will run.
- Requirements for scaffolding during a test, holding fire hoses with water running under high pressure may be difficult and potentially dangerous for fire crews on a multi-storey building. Scaffolding may be required to ensure the crew’s safety.
- DFES requests plumbers and site coordinators are present during both site inspections and hydrant booster tests. Where dual pumps are installed, we also require the person responsible for installation of the pumps is present on the day of the test.
- Every endeavour shall be made to minimise water wastage when conducting a test. This may be achieved by the recirculation of water through storage tanks or limiting the duration of water flow to prevent damage to property or the environment.
- Please be aware that unforeseen emergency situations or operational obligations that may arise on the scheduled day of testing will be given priority. In such situations, it may be necessary to reschedule the test at short notice.