Seattle Uses Portable Water Screens On Under-pier Fires
photos courtesy S.F.D.
Seattle’s concern with its ability to contain fires under old style piers has resulted in fire department development of portable water screen systems. By drilling holes in pier decking and inserting modified nozzles, a water screen is established which hopefully, would prevent longitudinal extension of an existing fire, or extension by radiated heat from an adjacent ship or waterfront structure.
A complete portable water screen consists of four 6-foot pipes with 1 1/2inch female couplings. A Rockwood tip is mounted on the pipe and modified by the drilling of additional holes to provide greater upward spray. The pipe is secured at the desired depth by means of a tapered locking collar. A power drill is provided together with an augur which is set for pre-determined diameters. Water supply is obtained from a portable distribution manifold which is carried by most Seattle companies.
At present, two complete systems are carried by waterfront companies. Although not yet tested at waterfront fires, one unit proved very effective in combatting a cock-loft fire, when driven upward from the floor below.