Are there any rules that govern the use of fire extinguishers? Yes, and these apply to both the users and the owner of a property. A fire extinguisher is an extremely effective tool when fighting an incipient fire. Figures show that it can reduce fire accidents by as much as 80% if used in time.
One of the necessary firefighting equipment is the fire hydrant. While it may not be seen as widely as an extinguisher, it is highly effective in dousing a full developed fire. Unfortunately, outdoor fire hydrants are fast disappearing from the Indian landscape as many civic authorities have failed to maintain and repair them on time.
So, should you invest in a fire hydrant? Yes, absolutely. In fact, you are legally obliged to do so. We are not talking about the vibrant red fire hydrants that is our usual image, but internal fire hydrants that are strictly required under the National Building Code. So, here is a short primer on fire hydrant systems India to help you along.
Need For Fire Hydrants
Fire hydrants act as a critical source of water when dealing with a developed fire. The location could be out of reach of sprinklers or it could be too developed for sprinklers or extinguishers to cope with. This is when firefighters step in. While firefighters have their own water tank, this can run dry very quickly. At such an eventuality, we need fire hydrants to boost the water supply.
Civic fire hydrants, run and managed by civic bodies, are found in public places. These are connected to the municipal water supply. Fire hydrants could be placed underground or overground. In India, the overground system is more common. Internal fire hydrants are different, placed in a building and often in-built in its construction. These hydrants are connected to the building dry and wet risers.
This is why fire hydrants are specifically mentioned in the National Building Code, which also specifies its supply mechanism, including water tanks and riser systems. High-rise buildings must, therefore, have an in-built fire hydrant system.
Parts Of Fire Hydrant Systems India
Water tanks: The fire hydrant system must have access to a water tank for a ready supply. The capacity of the tank is decided by the area and the number of risers. There are different type of tanks found on a property. These are:
- Static water tank:These are underground or on the surface and are built for water storage.
- Terrace tank:These tanks are made of plastic, concrete or cement. These are also meant for water storage.
- Priming tank:Unlike the other two tanks, the priming tank’s function is not water storage. This is a small tank, located above the firefighting pump. Its function is to ensure that the pumpcasing and suction is permanentlyflooded.
Pumps: The fire hydrants system cannot work without its pumps, which supply and regulate the water flow in the hydrant system. The various pumps here are:
- Fire pump: This is installed in the static tank to supply water to the wet-risers.
- Terrace pump: This is connected to the terrace tank. It has valves to regulate water supply from both ends. There should also be a pump panel attached to control its functioning.
- Jockey Pump: This pump is installed to regulate the water pressure. This is an automatic pump, which is triggered whenever there is a drop in the static pressure.
- Stand-by pump: As the name suggests, this is kept as an alternative in case of emergency. It has the same capacity as the fire pump.
Riser-system: These are pipes that run vertically through the building to carry the water required for the fire hydrant systems India. The risers have a landing valve on each floor and at their ends to regulate the water supply. There are three types here:
- Wet riser: These are connected to the static water tank.
- Down comer: These are connected to the overhead tank.
- Wet-Riser-cum-Down-Comer:A combination of both types, connected to water tanks on both ends.
Hose reel: This is the tube attached to a pressurised water supply. It is the hose that ensures the water supply can be taken across a floor.
Air vessel: This is a small cylindrical vessel that is attached to the wet riser at the top and the bottom to nullify the water hammer effect.
Air release valve:This valve opens up the water supply to release the trapped air inside the riser as it is being charged.
Pressure switch: This is to regulate the functioning of the fire pump or the jockey pump as per the pressure in the system.
These are the essential parts of a fire hydrant systems India. Check each part and ensure that these meet the required ISO standards before installing.
Should you be fire ready? If your office/home/factory etc has an effective fire safety system, do you then also need to be individually prepared for fire? Should you equip your home/office/factory with a fire fighting system even if there are no clear dangers of fire? Do we need any preparations other than stocking up from a reliable fire fighting equipment suppliers ?
The answer is an unequivocal yes. The potential for damage from a simple fire is simply too huge to ignore. Not only do you need a comprehensive fire fighting system, you also need to ensure that everyone present is prepared for an emergency. This preparedness can be critical in controlling a fire before it goes out of control.
Being Fire Ready
Other than equipping your space with fire fighting equipment, you need to ensure that the people inside are fire ready. There are some core principles that come under this:
Preparedness: You have to be prepared to deal with the eventuality of a fire at any given time. After all fire does not occur with prior notice. This requires planning, training, and teamwork.
Understanding: You must understand how a fire can break out, the accelerants that it can find in a given space, the working of an extinguisher or other fire safety equipment and so on.
Practice: This is essential and can be taken into preparedness. You must always keep practising so that you are always fire ready.
Of these, let us understand preparedness in detail. The main three factors here are:
Planning: It is critical that there is a fire safety plan in place in every organisation and home. Making a plan after a breakout is useless. The plan will include strategies of daily prevention system, its maintenance as well as a detailed plan on what to do in case of a breakout.
Start with a complete plan of action. In a larger organisation, you may need an expert to advice on the fire safety equipment. ∏art of the action plan must be:
Keep a detailed list of fire safety plan.
- Assign at least two fire escape routes.
- Ensure that fire escape route from upper stories lead you to a neighbouring roof or a collapsible ladder.
- Mark the escape routes clearly
- Make sure that windows and doors can be opened quickly
- Plan out the survival kit — these are essentials that you must save from fire. Ensure that these are absolute essentials (like passport etc) and can be packed in a matter of minutes. You won’t exactly have time to pack your suitcases. This is applicable only if the fire is still at a distance.
- Plan a fire drill which ensures that each member knows how to evacuate a building in a peaceful manner.
- Carefully evaluate fire fighting equipment suppliers in your area and select the right one.
Training: Whether you are at home or office, it is essential that all people present have some kind of regular training. Typically this involves running regular drills. These must be conducted at random to ensure that everyone if fire ready at any given point of time. The drill will ensure that if there is a breakout, every person will know how to ensure his/her safety. It also brings down panic level (a major danger on its own because of high possibility of stampedes) because each person automatically focuses on a given plan of escape.
In case of a public place where we have a moving population, it is not always possible to train everyone in advance. In such case, the employees or the regular staff must be trained on how to ensure a peaceful evacuation of the general public.
We also need a core staff that has training in dealing with fire safety equipment. Some fire fighting equipment suppliers also provide this service. This team will be responsible for manning any equipment and direct rescue ops if required.
Finally, ensure that these procedures are practiced everyday so that the entire process can take place smoothly in an emergency.
Teamwork: As explained above, we may need a core team in place to deal with emergencies. However, it is also important to ensure that every member of this team works as one whole. You can use team building exercises to ensure that the team understands its objective, responsibilities and division of labour.
While it is important that we source all our fire safety equipment from a reliable fire fighting equipment suppliers, we must also ensure complete fire preparedness at all times.
To safeguard against fire is a necessary requirement for a commercial, residential, public or private place. Fire can destroy virtually everything in its path, causing untold devastation. People can lose lives and their livelihood in one incident of wanton destruction. Given that most of these incidents can be avoided, it is criminal to not create safety structure beforehand.
This is why most fire service experts recommend a portable fire extinguisher in every premises. One of the most common extinguishers is the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. There are many reasons why extinguishers are such a ubiquitous fire fighting device: (more…)
One of mankind’s greatest inventions was creating fire. It was the first fuel that we had access to and we used it eventually to build civilizations. But fire is also devastating. It can swallow up entire buildings in a matter of minutes. Fire can cause immense destruction, taking lives, destroying property and other assets.
This is why it is imperative that we take every fire fighting precaution, including stocking up on all required fire fighting safety equipment. This is our first line of defense. Most fires are stopped due to timely warning and the immediate deployment of fire fighting equipment. This is why everyone — from individual home owners to shopkeepers, office managers and factory owners — need to understand and follow all required fire fighting guidelines.
What are some of the fire fighting equipment that we should invest in?
There are many type types of fire fighting equipment that include warning systems, protection gear as well as fire fighting tools. The most essential are:
Smoke alarms: This is a simple, but effective warning system that is found in industrial, commercial as well as residential properties. One study conducted in the US found that smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a fire by half. Smoke alarms work on the simple mechanism of detecting smoke as an indication of fire.
In large buildings, smoke alarms are connected to a central fire fighting system, which also powers it. In domestic settings, the smoke alarms are often powered by a battery. In a large home one can have interlinked alarms that are connected to the main power unit. Smoke alarm usually emit a loud alarm when smoke is detected. It could also be connected to other fire fighting equipment.
Fire sprinkler system: This is a fire protection system where sprinklers are built into the ceiling at various points. The sprinklers are attached to pipes of a water distribution system that ensures the right pressure and flow of water. Sprinklers are triggered by heat. Water sprays from the overhead system, dousing the fire. The system activates with one head at a time, since most fires can be contained by just a couple of sprinkler heads. Once seen only in industrial or commercial buildings, sprinkler systems are becoming increasingly common in residential buildings as well.
Fire extinguisher: The most recognizable fire fighting safety equipment is the fire extinguisher. Although ineffective against a raging fire, a fire extinguisher come in handy at the initial stages, ruling out the very possibility of a raging fire! Studies show that deployment of fire extinguishers can stop a fire from going out of control.
Not all extinguishers are the same. Extinguishers are differentiated according to their component, which in turn is decided by the type of fire. The different types of fire extinguishers are: water and foam extinguishers, carbon dioxide extinguishers and powder extinguishers. When buying a fire extinguisher one must keep in mind the type of assets we are dealing with. For instance, water and foam extinguishers will be in appropriate in an office full of electronic equipment. The water and foam will end up damaging the equipment. Instead one should use the CO2 or powder extinguisher.
Fire fighting gear: Although not necessary for all buildings, fire fighting gear can be critical when fighting fire. This is the gear that firefighters usually carry. This includes helmets, boots, clothes and gloves. These are made of extremely durable material like PVC and rubber. Helmets and boots are designed to cover the firefighter while making their job easier on site.
Some of this gear has additional features. For instance, some helmets also carry communication systems, camera and light. But their main function is protection. The boots protect feet from debris and slippage at a fire site while the helmet protects the head, face and neck from dangerous draft and falling objects. Similarly, the gloves protect the hands and also give it insulation from the red objects at a fire site.
Other fire safety gear includes shovel, axe, ash bucket and fire blanket. The first two are used to open up windows or doors that get stuck due to the heat, while the other two can be used to douse fire.
Fire can be devastating, taking up lives and destroying property. But with a few precautions we can minimize its danger. This begins with ensuring that you are equipped with the required fire fighting safety equipment.
Fire can devastate life and property. Providing for fire fighting equipment is not just a matter of conscience, it is also a legal imperative. Selecting the right equipment can mean the difference between life and death for someone. So, its important that one finds out all they can before stocking their equipment.
One of the major decisions to make here is finding the right fire fighting equipment supplier. There is no dearth of suppliers in the market today. But as we pointed out, the reliability of your equipment is of paramount importance and the right supplier can go a long way in ensuring that. But before we do that, you must understand what you will need:
General Fire Fighting Equipment Includes:
- Fire extinguishers: These include different types of extinguishers, such as water, foam, carbon dioxide, dry chemical, wet chemical and special purpose extinguishers.
- Fire hose reels
- Fire hydrant systems
- Automatic sprinkler systems
- Fire blanket
- Sand bucket
Factors to Keep In Mind When Selecting Fire Fighting Equipment Suppliers:
1. Decide the Range
Fire fighting includes an entire range of equipment. But not everyone needs the entire range. For an individual home owner, for instance, a portable fire extinguisher will be enough. A large organisation will need more equipment, including fire hose and sprinkler system. The supplier you choose must obviously keep all these.
2. Know What You Need
As is explained above, there are different types of fire extinguisher and their function differs according to the material. So, you must base your equipment according to that. For instance, a carbon dioxide fire extinguishers is what you need in an office with a lot of electrical equipment. However, it will not be as effective in an average home.
This is not the time to go skimping on your budget. Good quality may come at a slightly higher price, but it is a price that one must pay. A few pennies cannot be more important than a life. However, there is of course always a budgetary allocation. Here, it would be better if you find out the usual financial outlay for fire fighting equipment and then decide on a budgetary allocation. You can ask among family, friends or online forums on reliable suppliers and then take a price quotation.
As pointed out before, the reliability of the supplier is of paramount importance. At the very least, all equipment must meet the desired Indian Standard in firefighting equipment. To know more about the equipment you must go through the website or ask about their quality assurance procedure. If they answer your queries confidently, it’s a mark in their favour. It also shows that their staff is well versed in the particulars of fire fighting equipment.
5. After-Sale Services
Buying fire fighting equipment is not enough. These need constant maintenance and upkeep later on. You will need to refill the gases and ensure that all other material is in perfect working order. Hence, it pays to look for fire fighting equipment suppliers who also provide after-sale services. You are looking for competent technicians who can work in any case of emergency.
6. Response Time
Fire fighting equipment is one of the essential supplies. So, its important that any fault or discrepancy is addressed in the least possible time. Be sure to ask your supplier about the time they take to ensure this, especially in case of emergencies. Your supplier must also have open communication lines and address any query instantly.
7. Multiple or Single Supplier
There are a number of competent fire fighting equipment suppliers in the market today. Some specialise in one equipment, while some will keep the entire range. Specialists suppliers may have the expertise, but a single supplier will save you time and effort. Single suppliers also keep a range of spare parts that can come in handy later on.
Single vendor also have the advantage in after-sale services because you can get the service from one supplier. This has many advantages. Apart from saving the time and effort, the technician will have a better knowledge of your full fire fighting system and will be able to give you a more comprehensive view.
These are just some of the factors to be kept in mind when selecting fire fighting equipment suppliers.
Low maintained fire extinguishers are more hazardous than no fire extinguisher at all. It will just take a second to mishap if you use expired fire extinguisher. Manufacturers of fire extinguishers in Mumbai always recommend their customers to have routine inspection in correct manner.