A portable fire pump is a crucial component in water-based systems that are designed to protect property in the event of a fire. Fire pumps increase the water pressure and flow rate of a sprinkler system to ensure that every inch of a building or space has enough fire suppression fluid available. Read on to learn more about this important fire safety component and how it works, then shop our selection of top brands to find the perfect portable fire pump for your fire station or fire department.
Portable fire pumps are categorized according to the amount of water they are capable of pushing through a hose line at high pressure. This is measured by a measure known as “feet of head.” The higher the feet of head, the greater the water capacity and pressure at which a fire pump is capable of operating.
Fire pumps can be powered by propane, gas, diesel or even by electricity. However, the vast majority are fueled by 4-cycle engines, which are preferred for firefighting applications. These types of engines are usually more durable and are less prone to damage under extreme conditions than 2-cycle engines.
Some fire fighting pumps are light in weight and are designed to be easily carried from the original source of water, such as a water tank or stream. These pumps are often called backpack fire pumps and typically have carry handles for this very reason. Others are larger and may be mounted on skid units or permanently installed in a fire engine. For example, Mercedes has several large fire pumps such as the Wick BN4200-23BS that are ideal for wild land, hunting camp and cottage protection.
Most portable fire pumps are designed for a wide range of uses. This allows fire departments to easily adapt their equipment to meet the needs of their specific community. For example, some fire departments prefer to use lightweight fire pumps while others require a more rugged, heavier device. In either case, these devices are equipped with a water tank and an electric motor to create a powerful spray.
Regardless of which type of fire pump is used, it is critical to perform regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that the device will work correctly in the event of an emergency. This includes monthly “churn” tests as well as annual flows and pressure testing. This maintenance helps to ensure that the fire pump is capable of meeting all NFPA and ISO standards in regards to its performance.