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Installation of fire services

Information for business owners and developers about new fire services

Fire protection is a mandatory requirement for commercial buildings under the Building Act.  

Private fire services 

A fire/sprinkler service is an asset belonging to the property that it is connected to. 

Importantly this may include some pipes under footpaths, roads or under nearby land. All this pipework belongs to the owner of the fire/sprinkler service. Where fire service pipework is connected to multiple properties, the service is owned by the first connected property. 

The sharing of costs associated with a private fire service is by agreement with the fire service owner (usually the first property). Yarra Valley Water is not involved in the cost sharing arrangements for private fire services. 

With the exception of some fire sprinkler services, all new fire/sprinkler services are metered. 

Metering is necessary to enable accurate measurement of the water used in testing or lost in leakage. The meter also helps us to manage potential backflow risks. Any water that passes through a meter is billed. It is therefore important for the service owner to actively manage leakage, prevent inappropriate use and work with a fire service consultant to ensure appropriate testing processes and system settings. 

Using street hydrants as fire protection coverage for buildings 

The building standards allow for street hydrants to be adopted as total or partial fire protection coverage to a building. 

The decision to do so is at the discretion of the property owner, their designer/s and the building surveyor. These parties are responsible for assessing whether a street hydrant provides suitable fire protection to the given building, now and in future.

It is expected that this assessment would consider: 

  • Requirements in the Building Code of Australia and referenced standards, particularly AS2419.1 

  • Fire authority guidelines, including Fire Rescue Victoria’s guideline on Street Hydrants 

  • Pressure and flow information for the given street hydrant, which can be obtained upon request from Yarra Valley Water 

Once the decision is made to adopt a street hydrant, it is recommended that you notify Yarra Valley Water. This enables us to record the details on our Geospatial Information System.  Note that Yarra Valley Water does not make any assessment of whether the proposed arrangement complies with standards. 

Important things to note when considering adoption of a street hydrant: 

  • The hydrant remains the property of Yarra Valley Water. All asset maintenance, upgrade and relocation is at our absolute discretion. 

  • It is the responsibility of the property owner to check that the street hydrant remains available for use ongoing. If the hydrant is relocated, the property owner should take action to ensure alternative fire protection measures are in place to protect the property. 

  • Water pressure and flow in the supply network may vary due to changes in consumer demand. Occasionally, water supply can be interrupted due to planned or unplanned maintenance. Yarra Valley Water has no obligation to maintain a certain water pressure and/or flow to the hydrant.  

 

Find out more 

Request pressure and flow information