The Importance of a Fire Pump

A fire pump is an important part of the water supply for fixed-place fire suppression systems like sprinklers and standpipes. The fire pump increases the water pressure of a system to overcome back pressure created by the weight of water in a pipe column and also allows for the discharge of hoses.

For firefighters, a fire engine’s pump panel is the most important tool on the apparatus. The pump panel controls the flow of water from the fire engines’ tanks and tells the operator how much pressure to deliver on each hose. In addition, the pump panel displays indicators of how much water is left in the tank and which line is currently being discharged.

The fire pumps on the apparatus are driven by a diesel engine, which creates the water pressure in a process called centrifugal force. Water enters the fire pump, passes through a valve and hits the impeller at the heart of the machine, which has curved blades. As the impeller spins, it creates water pressure by creating centrifugal force, essentially flinging the water outward, according to Capt. Alan Brunacini.

Once the water leaves the pump, it is fed into the hoses, which are pre-connected on the pump panel. Once the fire engine arrives at a scene, the driver/operator will use the preset button on the pump panel to quickly get the water flowing. The preset button helps the driver/operator get the pump up to the proper water pressure to meet their system’s needs.

When determining the size of fire pumps and hoses, fire departments need to take into account their water demand as well as their terrain. For example, a fire department located in the desert might need to consider a water-resistant pump and a longer hose to be able to reach buildings. On the other hand, a fire department in the mountains might need a less powerful pump and a shorter hose to be able to reach a building more easily.

A comprehensive training program should include the ideal pumping pressure for each standard hose deployment on the truck. This can be determined by a friction-loss and pump-pressure evaluation, which can be performed by a fire protection professional.

Fire drills are an excellent way for a fire department to ensure that its pumps will work properly in the event of a real emergency. It’s recommended that the fire department tarp their pumper systems during the fall and winter, which keeps leaves, pine needles and other windblown debris from gathering on the pumps and hoses. Fire drills are also an excellent opportunity for the fire department to practice deploying its hoses and stretching its primary and backup lines. As fire emergencies become more and more complex, it is vital that fire departments are equipped to handle them with the latest technology. A fire pump is a critical component in this effort, so make sure to invest in high quality new fire equipment from top manufacturers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *