San Francisco Auxiliary Fire Protection System

San Francisco Auxiliary Fire Protection System

As described in a previous issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING, the city of San Francisco, Cal., is equipped with a modern auxiliary high pressure system for fire protection. The following interesting features were not included in the article, owing to a lack of space. The description is from the pen of Fred M. Hyde, assistant mechanical engineer:

Fire Boats

Two steel fire boats have been constructed. They are 120 feet long by 26 feet beam by 11 feet draft, and are fitted with Babcock & Wilcox water tube boilers, with a heating surface of 5,400 square feet. Each boat has two propelling engines and a speed of 12 knots per hour. They have two steam turbines of the Curtiss type connected to two stage turbine pumps, with a guaranteed capacity of 9,000 gallons and an actual capacity of 9,870 gallons of salt water per minute against a head of 150 lbs. per square inch, or 4,500 gallons per minute against a head of 300 lbs. per square inch. The fire fighting equipment consists of: Three 3-inch monitor nozzles, two 2-inch monitor nozzles, twenty 3 1/2-inch hose connections.

Fire Alarm Station

A central fire alarm station has been constructed in Jefferson Square, near the center of the distributing system. It is a reinforced concrete building of the Italian Renaissance style of architecture, 70 feet long by 6.5 feet wide, and contains 41 marble switch panels in the main operating room. These panels are so divided that 22 will receive alarms from street boxes, 8 will transmit alarms to engine houses. 4 will serve as means of communication between engine houses and the central office, and 6 are provided to care for any circuits which may be temporarily disabled. The switchboard has a capacity of 154 circuits, 92 of which are installed. The station is equipped with a gasoline engine generator, motor generators and storage batteries, so that electricity can be furnished for the operation of the system independently of any outside source of power. In this station is also the private branch exchange switchboard of the fire houses, which is connected with the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company’s system. The cost of the station was $90,000.

Picture, Type of Fire Boat, San FranciscoPicture, Central Fire Alarm Station

Fire Cisterns

There are at present in the streets of San Francisco 141 fire cisterns. These cisterns are built beneath the street surface and are kept full of fresh water, which is supplied from the nearest hydrant. Of these cisterns 87 are newly constructed, of reinforced concrete, with a capacity of 75,000 gallons each, and were built in connection with the auxiliary water supply system. The other cisterns are mostly of brick. The total capacity of all the cisterns is 8,459,000 gallons. These cisterns are located at strategic points throughout the city, and are to be used in case the fire hydrants in the vicinity are out of service. The fire engines pump directly from the cisterns.

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