This year home owners are being warned to be prepared for an exceptionally bad fire season. Urban residences in high fire danger areas are advised to take steps to provide a degree of self reliance in fire preparation.
The Fire Chief high pressure portable fire pump available from Australian Pump Industries is the basis of many domestic fire prevention systems, and the Chief is on record as having been instrumental in saving properties from bush fires all around the country.
Aussie Pumps Product Manager Brad Farrugia says that diesel drive versions of the Fire Chief are becoming more and more popular as consumers realise the safety aspects of operating a fire pump that runs on diesel fuel, with its low combustion, as apposed to petrol powered pumps.
“Although the Fire Chief’s most common configuration is with a genuine Japanese built Honda petrol engine, preference for top quality but economically priced diesel drives is increasing,” he said.
“Imagine a situation where the fire has been around a property and the home owner is busy putting out spots. Eventually you run out of fuel and have to refuel the pump in a situation where there are embers and sparks flying around. To say this is dangerous if refuelling with petrol, is a massive understatement,” said Farrugia.
The Fire Chief provides loads of flow and pressure, and is an effective lightweight portable fire pump. It has won contracts in Europe, Africa and through South East Asia as well as being hugely popular here in Australia. It is the choice the Rural Fire Service in NSW and the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Developing over 100 psi pressure, the pump delivers up to 500 litres per minute in flow.
The core design of the product, i.e. its quality components and hydraulic design, is what delivers that higher performance.
The pump has a huge big belly body with 2” detachable suction port supplied as standard equipment. That means more water is drawn into the pump than smaller 1 ½” inlet type units.
To capitalise on the big body potential, the manufacturer fit a huge a 7 ½” (190mm) diameter one piece, heavy duty impeller that is superbly matched to provide top performance without engine overload.
The result is performance that enables the machine to either operate two 1” hoses with fire nozzles simultaneously, or a 1 ½” high pressure hose that can literally drown spot fires fast.
Even the basic version of the Fire Chief, with a Japanese Honda petrol engine, comes with heavy duty steel skids and anti vibration rubber mounts.
The diesel powered version, with its advantages of low combustion fuel, comes in a heavy duty galvanised roll frame for stability and ease of portability.
“We match tested both Robin and Yanmar diesels to “The Chief” and found that we can operate at full performance without overload conditions in pumps that range from the basic fire pump right through to the big twin impeller “Mr T” super high pressure pump.”
The big Mr T offers tremendous high performance capacity and, in its diesel configuration comes with a 10HP Yanmar engine with electric start. They are designed for serious fire fighters but are also used by home owners
Domestic customers who buy diesel powered Mr T pumps are generally protecting expensive homes or businesses.
Farrugia warns against relying on electric drive pumps that may be connected to household water tanks or swimming pools.
“The first thing that goes out in a bush fire holocaust is the electrical power,” he said.
Additional advantages of diesel drive versions of the Aussie Fire Chief include fuel efficiency and generally higher torque than the equivalent HP petrol engines.
“The big issue is safety,” said Farrugia.