Reliability: An Essential Component of Fire Protection Systems

Fire pump systems deliver water with adequate volume and pressure to the sprinkler and standpipe systems. There are several reasons why a sprinkler system would need to be supported by a fire pump:

  • There is not enough volume or pressure in the public water supply

  • Changes to the operations of the building protected by the sprinkler system increase the fire risk, which requires a higher delivered density to the sprinkler heads

  • The volume or pressure of the public water supply has been negatively impacted by the demands of development and expansion, OR no public water supply is present

There are two types of pumping systems based on the source of the water supply:

  • A fire pump draws water from a private water supply, such as a tank, river, or underground aquifer. There is often only one fire pump in these types of systems and a limited supply of water, based on the NFPA occupancy fire protection requirements (see Exhibit 1A)..

  • A booster pump attaches to a public water supply that has adequate capacity but inadequate pressure, when the public supply is not adequate to meet the demands of the sprinkler system due to fire loading, or in high-rise buildings where water must be delivered to upper floors. The system booster pump increases the available pressure to an adequate level (see Exhibit 1B).

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