Fire Protection for San Francisco Fair

Fire Protection for San Francisco Fair

With the completion of the $250,000 high pressure system for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition, a score of fire protectionists declared after conclusive tests on Treasure Island that the fire fighting facilities of the $50,000,000 World’s Fair of the West are entirely adequate.

Some months before the fair was opened Chief Charles J. Brennan, of the San Francisco Fire Department, and a crew of 60 firemen put the newlycompleted salt water manifold system through its paces. The Fireboat “Dennis T. Sullivan” was connected to a manifold on the south side of the 400acre man-made site, and pumped 5,000 gallons per minute at a residual pressure on the system of 160 pounds. The pumping pressure was 170 pounds.

After making appropriate deductions for the difference in elevation between the pump centers and the mains, there was an average system loss in head of only six pounds with a delivery of 5,000 g.p.m. of salt water. The four-pound difference was occasioned by the fact that the mains are about nine feet higher than the fireboat pump. Two 2 3/4-inch nozzles and one two-inch outlet were used.

The manifold installed at the water’s edge for connection with fireboats in case of a major conflagration allows salt water to be pumped directly into the fresh water system. A 3,000,000 gallon fresh water reservoir at an elevation of 260 feet will make available for fire protection a hydrant pressure of 100 pounds per square inch with a fire flow of 5,000 gallons a minute in a concentrated area. About 200 hydrants are installed at convenient points throughout the fair grounds. The whole fire protection system is thoroughly equipped with valves for isolating portions of the system in case of breakage of pipes or hydrants.

Among those who attended the tests on Treasure Island were Charles H. Lee, Chief of the Division of Water Supply of the Exposition: Alexander Field, President of Johnson & Higgins, California; R. L. Rowley, Fire Protection Engineer and Director of Johnson & Higgins, California, representing the syndicate of fire insurance brokers; R. H. Harvey and E. W. Small, Engineers of Marsh & McLennan; Guy LeRoy Stevick, Jr., Insurance Manager of the Exposition; Thomas E. McCaughern, District Secretary, and Chief Engineer L. S. Bush and Engineer J. R. Douglass, Board of Fire Underwriters of the Pacific.

With Chief Brennan was President Victor A. Sbragia of the Board of Fire Commissioners.

The high pressure system is a complete circulating one, complying with requirements of the National Board of Fire Underwriters for a Grade Three city.

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