Fire Protection

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by lehrjetmx, May 23, 2007.

  1. lehrjetmx

    lehrjetmx LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Messages: 107

    Had a call the other day after the fires we had here in Jersey. Customer wants a zone put in just inside the tree line shooting into the woods on pipes about 8 feet up to help prevent future fires. The real question comes in they also want a dripline or some sort of sprinkler system installed on the roof? Anybody have any suggestions on what to do for that!!!! The customer is a real good friend so i would like to help him out to keep his beautiful house safe from future fires.
  2. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,733

    In the case of a hot fire like that, I don't think you could put enough water on the tree line to matter that much. As far as the roof goes, I know it is becoming big business in the west. I have only seen one on a roof here, cedar shingles on a log cabin, and it is a spray zone on the roof.
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,386

    I think the construction practices have changed in California fire territory. No exposed combustibles seems to be the way to go. Cedar shingles would be replaced by some non-flammable imitation.

    Did you know that the Rain-Jet company had a special flat-trajectory brass (of course) rotor head for roof sprinklers?
  4. Mjtrole

    Mjtrole LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    I'd definately agree with that unless you watered non stop for a couple days if you knew the fire was coming your way.

    As far as the roof a drip line wouldn't put our enough water. Maybe a line with some open swing fittings in the right position might help keep the roof wet incase of fire, the only thing about doing any of that is it might look god awful, I guess it would be better than seeing your house on fire.
  5. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,928

    The only reliable way to protect the roof is to put on a non-flammable roof such as clay, metal ect...

    Second if they are that concerned, the best course is to put up a defensible zone.

    Ask any firefighter what is meant by a defensible zone. They'll be more than happy to tell you.

    3 years ago, there was a major project (Santana Row)in the city of San Jose that went up in flames because of an accidental fire. About 1 1/2 a mile away(downwind), there were secondary fires that was caused by embers falling on the roof tops of these apartments with cedar shingles. So you don't really need a big fire close by for a cedar shingle roof top to catch on fire.

    Keeping a roof moist Will only cause it to decay faster.

    There are fire retardant chemicals that you can treat the roof with, but the best course is to replace the roof with a non- flammable roofing material in the first place.
  6. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    The other guys are hitting it right talking about non-combustible building materials and defensible spaces. Installing an outdoor fire supression system isn't practical, most residential water services won't provide anywhere near the flow required to supply one. On the other hand, just keeping the area around the house irrigated will make a huge difference. Green, well irrigated vegetation doesn't burn very easily. It also helps to avoid shrubbery that burns easily, like junipers.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    Back about 1980 I saw the Orange Freeway shut down in Brea, CA and used as a fire break for a notorious Southern CA Santa Ana wind-driven chaparral fire. They lined both sides of the freeway with fire trucks that sprayed out as far as they could. Then they had others stationed on the town side of the freeway that responded to flying embers. They let a townhouse construction area on the fire side of the freeway catch fire and burn to the ground since it was in the framing stages and could easily be rebuilt.
  8. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,928

    Oh, regarding back to fire suppression, there is a system that will spray the same kind of retardant that the fire services drop from the airplanes.

    However, as the name implies, retardant, NOT fire proof.

    I forgot about the name of the system, but what I do know of it, it is something that you would need a small tank, pump, and of course maintain it on a regular basis. I know around here in San Mateo County,Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, in order to build in what is left of remote places, you need to have this fire suppression system in order to get your final occupancy permit. Need I say that it $$$$$$$.
  9. lehrjetmx

    lehrjetmx LawnSite Member
    from Jersey
    Messages: 107

    Thanks for all the input on this subject. Do agree that its not the answer but a simple aid that could help out in the future. I will have to take a picture and post it of this house and the damage done all around.

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