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Home: Safety: Fire
Residential Forest Fire Protection   (+1, -3)  [vote for, against]
A giant sprinkler system surrounding your property sprays water from a large reservoir.

Forest fires are a fact of life on this planet, and always have been. Even so, a lot of developers build houses in forests that regularly burn down, every few hundred years or so.

If you know there's a fair chance of a forest fire during the time you plan to live in your house, you should install a giant sprinkler system around and throughout your property. I'm talking giant -- probably a larger water flow rate than you could get from your municipal supply.

When a forest fire near your property is detected, the system kicks in, and spouts water high in the air throughout your property. As the fire has to evaporate a lot of misty water, it is cooled down. The water shield effectively, practically and cheaply prevents flames from reaching any buildings or trees on your property. The water also prevents embers from igniting anything.

Depending on the size of the trees around you, you may need a lot of water to sustain the required water flow . If you don't have an enormous swimming pool, you would need a large underground reservoir. You may have to keep the water flowing for up to an hour.

When your house is the only one standing after the fire sweeps through your neighborhood, you know you made the right decision installing the system. Alternately, entire communities could surround themselves with even larger versions of the emergency water shields.
-- yo, Jun 25 2002

you might be better to set off a controlled fire in a ring around your entire neighbourhood, which can then act as a firebreak when a larger forest fire travels closer to you.
-- sappho, Jun 25 2002

Fires tend to occur in periods of drought when water is at a premium anyway. Pity the town council who has to explain to its citizens that they can't have water to drink or wash in when it has 5 000 000 litres of water stored away in the fire defence system.......
-- 8th of 7, Jun 25 2002

store all the grey water from the community, or if really bad, the black water (better to have a property that smells like shit than no property at all, and think how green the grass would be).

(Living in the woods and being 'victimized' by a forest fire is like living in California and having an earthquake.)
-- rbl, Jun 25 2002

Or building in the floodplain and complaining when you get flooded out.
-- threeoutside, Jun 25 2002

that would be 'living in a mobile home' and having a tornado..............

what country is it where they live right on the flanks of an active volcano and get ash dumped on them all the time? At least the residents could all work getting rid of nuclear waste.
-- rbl, Jun 25 2002

No, I haven't burnt down ;-) been a rough week.
-- runforrestrun, Jun 25 2002

I'm with [sappho] on this one. It's better to rely on a properly maintained firebreak, and do the occasional controlled burn to alleviate the fire threat. Large forested areas should be maintained like this anyway for their natural health. Then the sprinkler system becomes redundant.
-- BigBrother, Jun 26 2002

Nice idea but you'll need your own source of water, best that its gravity fed cause if you rely on a pump for your pool water don't count on electricty being on. Generator? make it a big one and have enough gas and a safe place to keep it out of the approaching fire and smoke.

Now what I would like to see is a self deploying fire shelter, like the wildland figherfighters use in emergencies. Pop...opens up with a CO2 tank and deploys over the house. Weather home or away a sensor will automatically deploy the system when fire is approaching. OK..power lines and phone lines need to be underground and you don't want the Propane tank to close either...Fences you figure it out.
-- AZ_Frank, Jul 07 2002

random, halfbakery