Supporting safety in Corangamite

21 June 2017

The inspection and maintenance of hundreds of fire plugs across the Corangamite 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 to support 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 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.

Corangamite Shire was the first council to sign the MoU with Glenelg, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Warrnambool also coming on board.

Corangamite Shire Municipal Fire Prevention Officer Sharna Whitehead said through the signing of the MoU, the whole process has become much more efficient. 

“There is now no duplication in inspections or fire plugs being missed through this collaboration,” Ms Whitehead said. “It is a great initiative and Council looks forward to working with Wannon Water and seeing the inspection program completed.”

Wannon Water’s Manager Maintenance Support Brad Clingin said the plan outlines a standardised inspection and maintenance regime, guided by CFA standards, which 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.” 

Warrnambool City Council will continue to inspect their own fire plugs and provide the inspection data to Wannon Water.

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.

 Small - Corangamite Fire Plug Inspections


Corangamite Shire Municipal Fire Prevention Officer Sharna Whitehead inspects a fire plug with Wannon Water Civil Maintenance Officers Clinton Fitzgerald and Matthew Brewer.