A fire pump is used to blast water at high pressure to extinguish flammable liquid fires, wildfires and in some cases even room-and-contents fires. It can be a life saver, but it can also cause significant damage to the building, equipment and personal injuries. This is why it is so important to use a quality high pressure fire pump that has been designed and built for the job. KSB has been a leading manufacturer of fire fighting systems for over 130 years and uses its own foundries and state-of-the-art research laboratories to ensure the highest level of quality.
The heart of a fire fighting water pump is the impeller. An impeller is a rotor-like device with curved blades that are driven by its own diesel engine. The engine spins the impeller at a very fast rate, creating water pressure. The water is then slung outward by centrifugal force and can reach up to 200 pounds per square inch.
A water pump can be used to attack a fire from several angles depending on the situation. The high-pressure water can be sprayed in a fine mist to suffocate a fire or it can be thrown at the fire to break down the oxygen in the room, preventing the flames from spreading. The mist can also act as a cooling agent for firefighters, keeping them cool while they work in close proximity to the flames.
In addition to the suffocation and cooling effect, high-pressure water can also be used to displace hot gases or vapours by forcing them out through the vents. This can be especially effective for fires in buildings, where the occupants might be trapped and unable to escape through the doors.
KSB’s ultra-high-pressure fire pumps are being increasingly used to attack flammable liquid and wildfire fires, but they can be effective against other types of fire as well. Testing has shown that the UHP pump can dramatically reduce upper-layer room temperatures, as well as reducing smoke and fumes.
Another benefit of this technology is that it can be used on smaller fires, where it might not be possible to reach them with a traditional fire engine. The water can be sprayed at higher pressures, which breaks up the droplets into smaller ones that cover a wider area, making it easier to tackle a small fire before it gets out of hand.
The UHP pump also allows a much greater water flow at the same pressure. This means that less water is needed for the same amount of coverage, cutting down on waste and the need for large tanker trucks to haul around massive amounts of water.
One challenge that Gibbs faced with his design was finding a way to get enough water pressure from the pump to overcome the backpressure of the building’s pipes, which is usually measured in pounds per square inch (psi). A combination of specialized diesel engines and lightweight high-pressure hoses eventually solved this problem. High pressure fire pump