Whether you’re fighting wildfires, responding to disaster or protecting residential property, you can’t do it without a fire pump. Fire pumps are a critical part of many water-based fire protection systems, boosting the pressure (measured in psi and bar) of the system’s water source to overcome the demands of the application.
There are two main criteria to consider when choosing a portable fire pump: flow rate and pressure. Flow rate indicates how much water is capable of passing through the system in a given amount of time, also known as gallons per minute or GPM. Pressure is the force of water against the suction side of the pump, measured in pounds per square inch or psi.
Choose a portable fire pump that is able to meet your flow rate and pressure requirements, taking into account the distance from the water source to where you will be using it. Also consider the size of the pump, ensuring that its suction and discharge sizes are compatible with your hoses.
If you’re going to use a portable fire pump in the field, make sure it’s ready for action by practicing regularly. This not only tests the effectiveness of your pump, but it also helps to acclimate personnel to working with it. Keep the pump well-maintained by regularly inspecting it and following the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule. Documenting these tasks will help you identify and resolve issues quickly, and preparing your team for the next real emergency.