Spray for Fighting Pier Fires

Spray for Fighting Pier Fires

The next time a San Francisco Pier catches fire, the loss may be held down to a few hundred dollars and firemen will be in less danger from creosote fumes as the result of a new invention of First Assistant Chief Albert J. Sullivan which was demonstrated in San Francisco recently.

Chief Sullivan’s invention, known as a portable perforated dock spray, was designed to apply water perpendicularly beneath docks, heretofore accessible only in small boats with an unmanagable hose. Chief Sullivan, who was Acting Chief during the absence of Chief Charles J. Brennan, who was in the south attending a convention, believes the device will cut down the fire fighting time for pier fires. Five of these portable perforated dock sprays have been built at the Corporation Shops and distributd to the fireboats and the water front land companies for use in fighting fires under piers and docks of the city water front. About thirty seconds arc required to set up the device when used from a fireboat, and sixty seconds when set up by land companies.

The appliance is simple and inexpensive, comprising only a section of iron pipe one-inch in diameter approximately eleven feet in length, bent at an angle of 45 degrees. To the end of the horizontal leg are attached a 31-inch nozzle in which four slots 1/4-inch in width have been cut in the top. All four streams of water passing through the slots, converge with each other making a water curtain twenty inches in width. This curtain of water extends for a radius of forty-five feet.

Demonstration of Three Portable Perforated Dock Sprays

There is approximately a six foot space between high water and the under side of the docks in San Francisco. The water sprays perpendicularly for a distance of twenty-five feet, and each nozzle delivers approximately 200 gallons of water per minute at 120 pounds engine pressure. Four of these perforated dock sprays can be operated from one pump unit with four outlets.

To counteract or equalize the force of the curtain of water spraying out through the four slots in the top of the pipe nozzle, a single large perforation in the lower part of the nozzle, 5/8-inch in diameter, permits escape of water from underneath the nozzle, thus making the whole device operated by one man.

When a small hole is made in the floor of a pier, the spray may be inserted, twisted to conform to any angle and played against the underside of the dock for a 45-foot radius.


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