- External water spray system
An External Water Spray System (EWSS) is a domestic external
fire sprinkler systemdesigned to protect homes from bushfiresand wildfires. While external spray systems have long been used in fire protection for buildings and facilities EWSS refers to domestic bushfire/wildfire systems.
The types of systems vary greatly from a single
impact sprinklerplaced on a roof, systems installed during constructionwith sprays on all windows and doors, and small sprays damping gutters. Some are installed using copperpiping and sprays while others use common PVCpiping.
Usage depends on type of
riskand belief of effectiveness. Copper piping is used to withstand high temperatures that may be experienced during a fire front or for higher reliability for in ceilinginstallations. External PVC piping is used where failure with exposure to high radiant heat is acceptable as at the time the system is considered have "done its job". This is a matter of personal judgment.
Types of risks to be considered include:
* Fire front (radiant heat)
* Adjacent building or vegetation fire
Home location will greatly affect the type of risk which in turn will affect an EWSS system design.
The main EWSS issue is the lack of scientific research. Other issues that may affect the effectiveness of an EWSS:
* Sprinkler performance in high
windconditions typical in a bushfire
* Home design
** High vulnerability areas. e.g.
Gardenbeds near walls
** Window sills
** Large windows (heat radiation)
** Internal furnishings (e.g
* Home location
* If defended by occupiers
* Preparation (if prepared for defense)
* If intended for remote (unattended) defense
* Roof impact sprinkler
* Gutter sprays
* Window spray / deluge
Commercial sprays designed for EWSS are available but most systems use commonly available irrigation sprinklers/sprays.
External spray systems for buildings are well documented for protection from fires in adjacent buildings. However up to 2007 there is little or no published scientific research on EWSS. In 2000 the Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA) published a report "External Water Spray Systems to Aid Building Protection from Wildfire". The objectives of this report are summarized by the overview quote:
In light of the inherent lack of scientific information pertaining to the effectiveness of EWSS under varying wildfire conditions, this study aims to highlight the current issues associated with EWSS as wildfire protection measure ...
Active fire protection
Passive fire protection
Fire protection engineering
* [http://www.sprinkler.sk Short description of sprinkler and other fire extinguishing systems]
* [http://www.olyfire.com/history.html Fire Sprinkler history]
* [http://www.zipworld.com.au/~lnbdds/Boschi/ The History of Mather+Platt]
* [http://www.nfsa.org National Fire Sprinkler Association]
* [http://www.bafsa.org.uk British Automatic Fire Sprinkler Association]
* [http://www.cfa.vic.gov.au/ CFA - Victoria, Australia]
* [http://www.fpaa.com.au/ Fire Protection Association Australia (FPAA)]
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