Fire Pump System - The Heart of the Fire Protection Systems
Updated: Oct 15, 2019
The Fire Pump System is also known as the Heart of the Fire Protection Systems, mainly for the different Wet Systems - such as Automatic Fire Sprinkler System, Drenchers, Water Spray, Rising Main (Wet Riser System), Fire Hydrant System, Fire Hose reel System and Water or Form System.
If you face the following issues at your site:
Frequent defects on your fire pump system in your pump room
Mechanical issues with the pump or motor
Suction issues with the water pressure to be delivered from your pump system
Electrical issues between the Pump Controller Panel and Pump System
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The function of the Fire Pump System is to pump and circulate water through the networks of piping and fittings to the various Fire Protection equipment, just like how the heart pumps and circulates blood through our veins for our entire body to function. The technical function and purpose of the Fire Pump System include:
Providing necessary flow and pressure
The performance of the system depending on availability, adequacy and reliability of water supply
Boosting pressure and flow only from an available water source as it cannot create water or the capacity of water supply
Located within the Fire Pump Room, either at the basement level, 1st Level or Rooftop, the area is only accessible for Authorized Personnel such as the Building Management, Approved Contractors and the Regulatory Authorities.
The following regulations thus require premises to have an operationally-ready and well maintained Fire Pump System:
Code of Practice for Fire Safety Precautions in Buildings
Code of Practice for Sprinkler System (SS CP 52)
Code of Practice for Fire Hydrant, Rising Main and Hose reel System (SS 575: 2012)
NFPA 20 - Standard for the installation of Stationary Pumps for Fire Protection
Who is responsible for the Fire Pump System?
Building Owners and Council Members are responsible by regulation
Fire Protection Specialists, like BSE, MCST Managing agencies, and/ or technicians are engaged to assist Building Owners and Council Members
Basic features of the Fire Pump System
Fire Pump Room - where it should be well-ventilated so as to prevent deterioration of the equipment due to moisture resulting in rust and corrosion.
Fire Pump sets - where it usually has a main, standby and jockey pumps, either run electrically or via diesel-operated
Pump performance characteristic charts
Fire Pump Controller Panels and accessories (of each individual system that is being linked)
Fire Water Tank - where the pumps draw its water source from
Pipes and fittings - where the network of water moves throughout the building to each individual Fire Protection equipment
What kind of maintenance will the Fire Pump System need and how often?
According to regulations, the recommended frequency of inspection, testing and maintenance of the Fire Pump System in buildings is WEEKLY/ MONTHLY. However, the regulatory testing and maintenance of the Fire Pump System are conducted ANNUALLY.
For industrial buildings with higher risk of fire incidents, more frequent testing and maintenance may be conducted to ensure Total Fire Safety in the premises.
Inspection checklist for the Fire Pump System:
No obstruction of accessibility or visibility
Pump Performance Characteristic Charts are seen legibly
No physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogs in the cabinets and equipment
Condition of the pipe and fittings accessories are in good working condition
Pump is running based on the intended performance requirements of the building
Pump Controller Panels are functioning and differentiated
Note: When the pump is running, there is bound to have water leakage at its housing. This water leakage is meant to lubricate the mechanical movement within the pump set to prevent overheating of the pump.
Fire Pump System is tested by manually testing the drain-off valves by simulating a fire scenario to determine the performance against the Pump Performance Characteristic Chart.
Next, defects are identified for recommendation and rectified in a timely manner
Tips on having an optimum Fire Pump System:
Ensure pump is being TESTED BY RUNNING its operation as required. The pump’s moving parts require consistent lubrication by water or oil (depending on the manufacturer's guide) so as to prevent from being jammed
Ensure pump is TESTED BASED ON THE PUMP PERFORMANCE CHARACTERISTIC CHART, to identify if there is any deterioration in the pump performance and capacity. Any early detection of defects will prevent downtime of the Fire Pump Systems - that will affect the Total Fire Safety of the building
Ensure that the pump’s NETWORK PIPING is not corroded, damaged or leaking. The last thing you would want to expect is the bursting of the pipes and fittings and flooding the area, causing water damage to the property and equipment
Ensure that if you have a basement pump room, the SUMP PUMP is operational. The sump pump is a life-saving equipment to prevent flooding in the pump room by providing a suction out of the room and building