In July the South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service (SAMFS) released a letter advising the fire industry that they were recommending Storz fittings for all hydrants. Click here to download a copy of the letter.
So what does that mean? Before we talk about the impacts on your sites let’s understand what the change is.
London Round Hydrants
For many years the SAMFS have required London Round thread be used on all hydrants.
Hydrants are used to supply water to the SAMFS when they are fighting a fire. For large buildings hydrant heads are required to be placed around the building to ensure that adequate water is available for the SAMFS to fight the fire.
The London Round thread has been a standard from living memory in South Australia. In true Australian tradition every state has adopted its own hydrant thread.
Originally this wasn’t a problem, but increased mobility has meant that in large fires interstate fire crews have traveled to South Australia to fight fires. As these other states use a different hydrant threads, thread type problems occur, they can’t get a water supply to enable them to work effectively.
Around Australia it has been agreed to use the Storz fittings.
Storz Fittings, Why?
The London Round thread has both a male and female thread end, like a nut and a bolt. This means that when using a hose you must take the correct end to the hydrant.
The Storz connection is not a thread but a way of connecting to identical fittings together. It doesn’t matter which end of the hose you take to the hydrant.
The SAMFS are now using hoses with Storz fittings.
So What Does That Mean?
Like any change to a standard there is a time when the old and the new way of doing something operate concurrently. We are in that phase with hydrants.
The SAMFS can use both the Storz hydrants and the London Round Hydrants (using adaptors on each truck).
The letter from the SAMFS clearly defines when a change is recommended from London Round to Storz hydrants.
Upgrades or New Installations
If you make an upgrade to a hydrant system you will be recommended to upgrade all hydrant heads to Storz fittings.
If you are installing a new hydrant system you will be required to upgrade all hydrant heads to Storz fittings.
The current heads cannot have adapters installed, only new heads can be installed, as directed by the SAMFS.
3, 5 and 6 yearly hydrant overhauls and tests are not an upgrade to the hydrant system! You do not have to upgrade the hydrant fittings at this time.
However, if you have funds available it is a good time to do it.
|Change to Storz
|3, 5 or 6 yearly hydrant overhaul
|Upgrade existing hydrant system
|New hydrant system
Do I have to Change
No you don’t. The SAMFS cannot make you change it. However there are mechanisms that can be used to force you to change them. It is unlikely that these will be used in the next few years.
Within 10 years it is likely that mechanisms to force sites to change may be used. This is our opinion only and not something that the SAMFS have eluded to.
So What do I do?
You should add to your life cycle funding of maintenance and allowance to upgrade your hydrant heads to Storz fittings in the next 5-10 years. When completing a 3,5 or 6 yearly overhaul is an ideal time to do this work.
If you are doing any upgrades or installing additional hydrants then it is recommended that you include additional funds to install Storz fittings or adaptors to all hydrant heads.
If you would like a budget cost for budget planning then please contact us on 08 8262 9245 – we are here to help.