Wendy Fryer and her children Vincent, 12, and Ellie, 10, watch Lismore firefighters.
Wendy Fryer and her children Vincent, 12, and Ellie, 10, watch Lismore firefighters.

Your pool could be a life saver in fire

By ZOE SATHERLEY

WENDY FRYER hopes her swimming pool will one day cool off more than just her kids, Ellie, 10, and Vincent, 12.

If its lifesaving water can be used to hose down a fire, she'll be cheering.

Wendy, whose ridge-top Lismore home is in a high-fire risk area, has just joined a NSW Fire Brigades scheme to identify sources of static water ? such as pools and dams ? that can be used to help fight fires.

Northern Rivers swimming pool owners are being asked to register with their local fire station and have a reflective SSW (source of static water) plate placed on their kerbs to enable quick identification.

Local firefighters plan to petition the Lismore City Council to make compliance with the program a condition of consent for all future swimming pool development applications.

"We watched the Caniaba fire last week and read just how lucky the Russell family were to save their house because firefighters could pump directly out of their swimming pool," Wendy said.

"I think everyone with a pool should join the scheme. It costs nothing and you are reimbursed for any water they use."

Inspector Gordon Boath, NSW Fire Brigades operational commander for region North A, said people in Lismore should realise that in a firestorm even homes two and three streets back from a firefront could be lost through ember attack.

"Homes on slopes and ridgetops are most vulnerable ? with every 10-degree increase in slope the rate of fire spread doubles," he said.

"At times of major fire activity the mains supply can be so taxed that all that comes out of the end of a hose is a dribble. And a tanker only carries a limited amount of water.

"So any alternative sources of water really could save lives and property."



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