Supporting safety in the Southern Grampians

06 November 2017


Southern Grampians fire plugs

South Grampians Shire Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Huggins and Wannon Water Civil Maintenance Officer Merv Anton inspect a fire plug in Tarrington.


Inspecting and maintaining hundreds of fire plugs across the Southern Grampians Shire has been made easier thanks to a collaborative project between the council and Wannon Water.

The aim is to ensure the plugs are visible, easily located and in good working order for ease of connection to fire hoses thereby supporting community safety.

Wannon Water’s Maintenance Planner Kate Haberfield said there are more than 7300 fire plugs across the south-west’s five municipalities.

“It is in everyone's interest to ensure they are maintained and easily located when required in an emergency,” Ms Haberfield said.

“Historically some Country Fire Authority brigades inspected their own district’s fireplugs,” Ms Haberfield said. “There was also some duplication of effort between CFA, the shires and Wannon Water where multiple parties were inspecting fire plugs. In some cases, fire plugs were not being inspected at all.”

That problem has now been solved with Wannon Water working with four Municipal Fire Management Planning Committees to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and an inspection and maintenance plan. Southern Grampians has signed the MoU, with Glenelg, Moyne, Corangamite and Warrnambool also coming on board.

Wannon Water’s Manager Maintenance Support Brad Clingin said the plan outlines a standardised inspection and maintenance regime, guided by CFA standards, that will be undertaken by Wannon Water’s civil maintenance teams. 

“Each council now has a maintenance plan to ensure all fire plugs are inspected and maintained once every three years,” Mr Clingin said. “This initiative contributes to an improved and more efficient delivery of services for fire plug inspection and maintenance, and helps formalise our approach to maintaining these important assets.” 

Typically, the plugs are located about 120 metres apart which is the optimum distance for CFA access requirements. They are generally sited on residential nature strips, with blue cat's eyes on the road and marker poles making them easier to locate in the event of a fire.