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SBA Announces Staff Changes

The mid-Atlantic’s preferred choice for fire pump sales and service, Steven Brown & Associates, Inc., is pleased to welcome Jerrid Dorsey to our team. Jerrid will be joining the inside sales team in the parts and service department. He brings the skills acquired during a successful background in customer service, along with extensive technical expertise. SBA management is sure he will be an excellent addition to the company.

SBA also asks that you join them in congratulating Mike Wisnoski, who has recently transitioned into the role of field technician, and who will be adding his skills and talent to the growing field team. Mike has been with SBA for the past 8 years, regularly impressing everyone with his skill and dedication. We expect he will do great things in his new role.

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Fire University: Training the Future of Fire Protection Maintenance

How do professionals in the fire protection industry keep up to date regarding the proper operation, inspection, and servicing of fire pumps? The quantity of fire pump installations continues to grow, but the supply of qualified fire equipment maintenance technicians required to service them is simply not keeping pace.

Fire University, in Penns Grove NJ, has arrived just in time to help address this problem by fine-tuning field training and education for professionals working in the fire protection field.

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Special Rules for Electric Motor Fire Pump Controllers

Electric motor fire pump controllers are different from other types of motor controllers, the major difference being that, with some special exceptions, there are no thermal overloads in the controller or devices designed to protect the motor by shutting off the power circuit.  Since fire pumps are so crucial and literally serve a life-saving purpose, they are specifically designed to provide constant power to the fire pump, even if the motor literally burns up.  The fire protection and insurance industries are firm in their insistence that the real estate, property, and human life being protected is much more important than protecting the fire pump’s motor.  In that regard, they are correct and have their priorities straight.

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What is a Fire Pump Controller?

Fire pump control panelIn simple terms, a fire pump controller is a device to reliably start and stop a fire pump, as well as monitor conditions in an ongoing manner that could hinder or prevent the proper operation of a fire pump. They act the same way any motor controller operates, except they are built with more strict standards to ensure that the priority is protecting a property and its occupants over the fire pump motor (or engine) itself.

UL and FM both “list” or “approve” fire pump controllers. This listing ensures that all fire pump controllers, regardless of manufacturer, all contain specific elements and design to ensure reliable operation in the event of a fire. The minimum required components of fire pump controllers are governed by NFPA 20 and will be discussed in detail in later articles.

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Future Safety Features in Fire Pump Controllers – Master Controls

We are often interested in directing industry attention to important future advancements in fire protection. Today’s topic pertains to an effective and creative solution to minimizing the dangers of arc flash in fire pump controllers. For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing electric fire pump controllers. Continue reading

How Long Should My Fire Pump Last?

As a fire pump distributor, we have a unique perspective on the useful life of a fire pump. We commission and test brand new equipment, and are frequently called in to replace and repair older pumps. We are often asked about when the best time should be to replace a given fire pump, or how long a life should a new fire pump be expected to have. So, these questions brought to life the idea to write about fire pump life expectancies. For the purposes of this article, we will focus on the fire pump itself, and not the motors, controllers, engines, or other items that are often in a mechanical room. Continue reading

well installed diesel fire pump

Check out this Impressive Fire Pump System Installation

As an industry leader in the sale of fire pump systems, we have a unique perspective of the final product — when the fire pumps, drivers, and controllers are sold and installed in a building with a sprinkler system. As we prepare to test the fire pump in the mechanical room where it is installed, we see the wide spectrum of installations, ranging from good to bad. Often, a lack of space contributes to less than ideal installations.

But the important thing is that the fire pump equipment works as specified and is ready for operation when needed. But every so often we see an installation that exceeds our expectations, and when one is spotted, we want to call attention to it. Continue reading

peerless pump

Get Comprehensive Fire Protection in a Packaged Pump House

If there are additions or zoning changes in an existing building, and there is not enough space to accommodate a new or upgraded fire pump system, then consider a new packaged fire pump house. Such a structure can be delivered with not only a new fire pump and controller but with all suction and discharge piping per NFPA 20, as well as all electrical wiring per NEC Article 695. Plus, add in emergency lighting, heating, louvers, fire department connection — even its own sprinkler system! — and not only do you know your installation is done correctly, but it arrives in a packaged housed structure, with piping connection terminations set to discharge through the walls or underground. Continue reading

Steven Brown in the Media: Choose the Right Fire Pump

Back in May, Steven Brown & Associates was featured in Pumps & Systems magazine! We wanted to help our customers and others learn about the advantages and disadvantages of different pumps used for stationary fire protection.

We discussed two types of fire pumps in our article: horizontal split case pumps and end suction horizontal pumps. The differences between these two pumps are drastic, so it’s important to truly understand what each one has to offer. Continue reading