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HOW TO SELECT A FIRE PUMP

HOW TO SELECT A FIRE PUMP

Fire poses a significant threat to varied occupancies worldwide majorly, in India, which lead not only in the loss to precious lives but also in huge property loss. Therefore, with increase in construction activities, especially in high-rise buildings, the necessity for a fire fighting system is of utmost importance.

Fire pumps come handy when the local municipal water system cannot provide enough pressure to fulfil the required hydraulic design of the fire sprinkler system. This usually occurs if the building is very tall, as in high-rise buildings, or in systems that require a relatively high terminal pressure at the fire sprinkler in order to provide plenty of water, such as in storage warehouses. Fire pumps are also needed if water supply for fire protection is provided from a ground level water storage tank.

There are various fire safety regulations adopted and established in India which should be considered for selection of any fire pump.

  1. As per the Tariff Advisory Committee (TAC) norms The building should be protected both horizontally and vertically from spread of fire through floors, stairs, walls, ventilating ducts etc. Fire resistant barriers can be used for this purpose. Another method of protection is through mechanically driven fire engines and trailer pumps. For effective application, mobile engines and/or trailer pumps shall be sited at convenient locations from where they can be speedily moved to any portion of the compound in the event of a fire and for this purpose adequate vehicular arrangements shall be available for towing trailer pumps.
             The capacities of individual trailer pumps and motor fire engine shall not be less than –
    • Trailer pump- 30 litres per second at 5.6 kg./sq. Cm.
    • Motor fire engines- 30 litres per second at 7.0 kg./sq. Cm.
    • The water supply to be drawn upon by trailer pumps or motor fire engines shall be available in static tanks of minimum 45,000 litres capacity

  2. Part 4 of NBC deals with Life and Fire safety. It provides that all buildings shall be classified according to the use and character of the occupancy and fire protection measures should be adopted. The building can be classified into Residential, Educational, Institutional, Assembly, Mercantile, Storage, Hazardous, Business and Industrial. For fire safety, depending upon the nature of building following installations shall be made:

               1) Fire Extinguisher                              2) Hose Reel

               3) Dry Riser                                            4) Wet Riser

               5) Downcomer                                      6) Yard Hydrant

               7) Automatic Sprinkler system           8) Fire alarm System

  3. NFPA 20 deals with Standard for installation of stationary pumps for fire safety. As per these guidelines there are two main principles of operation of pumping water, centrifugal and positive displacement. Positive displacement pumps come in two types: rotatory and reciprocating, whereas centrifugal pumps come in several types, namely horizontal split-case, vertical in-line, vertical line shaft and end suction pumps. There are three driver types: electrical motor, diesel engine and steam turbine systems. The motors/engines are what drive the impellers and spin the shafts that provide water to the systems.

    Major Duty Parameters to be considered for selection of the fire pump:

    1. Horizontal elbows or tees upstream of a fire pump must be 10 pipe diameters from the suction flange on a split-case fire pump.
    2. Pumps must maintain a positive suction pressure at the suction flange.
    3. Electrical feeds to fire pump controllers must have a two-hour fire rating.
    4. Fire pumps can’t be used as pressure-maintenance pumps.
    5. Variable-speed pumps are allowed by the code.
    6. Fire pumps need to be installed in a 2-hour rated room.

    The most common type of fire pumps that are used are as follows:

    1. Hydrant Pump
      These are high-pressure electric and diesel-driven fire pumps made especially for fire fighting. They are best to use in a building and work by boosting the pressure in the hydrant service. They are the most common water-based suppression systems for fire hazards.
    2. Sprinkler Pump
      A sprinkler pump is powered by diesel, electricity, or steam. It draws water from a water tank or water body like a lake. It could also directly be powered by diesel. Water is distributed from the sprinkler system of the pump due to the high pressure of water. The pump provides water flow at high pressure to hose standpipes.
    3. Jockey Pump
      This is a small pump which connects to a fire sprinkler system so that pressure in the sprinkler pipes is maintained. Even if a fire sprinkler is activated a pressure drop is created and the jockey pump makes up for this pressure drop.
    4. Booster Pump
      A booster fire pump is used to support the supply of water from a public or private source in case the pressure requirements of the protection system are beyond the capacity of the current supply. These pumps require regular inspection and testing to ensure reliable operation.

In order to ensure the proper functioning of the fire fighting system, appropriate size of fire pump is mandatory. To ensure maximum safety of property and people, one must invest time in determining and selecting the appropriate fire pump.

If you are located anywhere in India, then you can contact Udyog Engineering Pvt. Ltd. for supply of fire pumps for your building. Our experts will assist you in selection of pumps and answer all your queries related to installation and maintenance of fire pumps.

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