Introduction: Portable Bush Fire Fighting System
This post is an idea rather than a design. Contributions are welcome to refine this idea into a workable design if it is considered that the idea has merit.
What is proposed is a bushfire/forest fire asset protection container. It would be particularly applicable to public buildings that don't have their own systems. The idea is to fit a 20 foot shipping container with currently available refillable bladder (http://flexitank.com.au/products/liquid-containment/storagepac-containers/) to give around 20,000 litres of water with firefighting equipment located in the bulkhead compartment that can be transported on a side loader truck to where there is a need.
Step 1: Components
1. One 20 foot shipping container.
2. One 20,000 litre refillable container bladder.
3. Fire fighting pump.
4. Positonable sprinklers.
5. Fire resistant hoses, light weight copper pipe lengths with appropriate fittings and nossles.
6. Suitable quick coupling fittings.
7. Sideloader container truck for transport.
Step 2: Container
What is proposed is a bushfire/forest fire asset protection container. The idea is to fit a 20 foot shipping container with currently available refillable bladder (http://flexitank.com.au/products/liquid-containment/storagepac-containers/) to give around 20,000 litres of water, with firefighting equipment located in the bulkhead compartment.
Around 20,000 litres seems to be the minimum amount of water recommended for fixed sprinkler systems installed to protect property.
The bulkhead compartment would be fitted with a firefighting pump such as the Davey pump shown.
As stated, this is just an idea that no doubt could be refined into a practical firefighting system to supplement currently used resources by people more expert in these matters than I am.
Step 3: Transportation
There would need to be an arrangement made with side loader companies to transport containers to required locations during an emergency, in a similar way as there must be arrangements with helicopter companies to bring them into operation in a fire emergency.
Step 4: Fitting Out
The container would have a suitable fire fighting pump that could be in its own compartment in the bulkhead. The air supply from outside could be through a radiator cooled by the water being pumped, thus protecting the pump from overheating. The appropriate pump would most likely be diesel.
I imagine a fitted out container could cost in the vicinity of $10,000, so if one were to save a home or property say costing $200,000 that otherwise would have been lost, then it would pay for itself 20 times over.
Step 5: Sprinklers
The sprinklers could be positionable steel construction tripod and base type sprinklers with appropriale rotating head or butterfly sprinklers. The sprinklers would be connected with suitable fire resistant hoses, or lengths of copper pipe could be used where extreme heat was expected The lengths of copper pipe would be similar to that used for connecting fixed sprinklers on a protected building. The 3 sprinklers in the photo are connected in this way. The availability of sprinklers could enable the protection to keep operating when it is too dangerous for firefighters to remain. A system delivering 100L-200L per minute could keep operating for up to 3 hours.
Step 6: Container Storage
The container could be fitted with its own sprinklers to provide cooling from radiant heat.
The containers would need to be stored in conjunction with local rural fire brigades and probably on property owned by members of the brigade who would keep the container serviceable in a similar way as rural fire trucks are maintained. Standard firefighting hoses and fittings would be used so that the container would interface with current bushfire fighting equipment and container equipment could be shared if more than one container was sited at a particular fire.