Quite often, fire engineers /risk surveyors recommend the installation of a fire pump to increase the water pressure for the fire sprinkler system and/or fire fighters.
In the case of Viscount Plastics Pty Ltd’s factory in Carole Park (a suburb of Brisbane), the investment of $65,000 in this type of fire-fighting equipment is credited with saving the $30 million plastics factory.
The fire broke out on Sunday, 6th October and was clearly visible with a huge black smoke trial billowing skywards as fire fighters fought to extinguish the blaze.
The fire claimed storage buildings as well as several forklifts and trucks, but importantly for the business and their employees, the main factory was saved.
Kate Tilley, reporting in Plastic News, stated that:
“site manager Phil Malone credited the company’s investment two years ago in pumps to boost water pressure. He said tests showed the municipal water mains could not provide sufficient flow rates to protect the factory if it caught fire, so Viscount bought booster pumps as a form of risk management.” “It could have been worse, had we not installed the fire-fighting gear. [The pumps] paid for themselves a million times over…”.
Plastics factories are high hazard risks, but the investment in risk management makes good business sense for any business. I recall a quote from D. J McHale that sums up risk management:
Whenever you look back and say ‘if [only]‘ you know you’re in trouble. There is no such thing as ‘if’. The only thing that matters is what really happened.”
 2002, The Merchant of Death, Simon & Schuster, New York.