A FAST FIRE TENDEF
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OF ORIGINAL• DESIGN
pARTICULAR interest attaches to the new Kerdiox-Lux CO/ fire tender which has just been built to the order of John Kerr and Co. (Manchester), Ltd., London Road, Northwich, Cheshire, the well-known fire-protection engineers, by Fleming Bros. (Redear),4Ltd., of Redear, Yorks, the basis being a Commer Centaur 2-ton chassis supplied through the body concern, which is also a Commer distributor.
This machine is intended primarily to deal with fires that can be handled by a first-aid appliance, such as those which occur in connection with motorcars, fats, gas and electricity, and in houses or single rooms, and the tender carries sufficient CO/ to deal with a conflagration in one immense room or a number of smaller apartments.
First Appliance in Britain or Europe.
The appliance is entirely original and is the design of Mr. J. C. Enright, of John Kerr and Co., in conjunction with Inspector Keowan, Chief Officer of the Redcar Fire Brigade. It is claimed to be the first of its kind built in the British Empire and in Europe, and the corporation is to be congratulated upon its enterprise in ordering this specially designed unit, which is of a type which is likely to find much favour amongst fire brigades in the future. The time of its arrival is appropriate because, only a few weeks ago, we published a leader upon the need for further advances in fire-engine design.
The body is of the saloon type, coachbuilt, with accommodation for three men inside and three, including the driver, outside, all being protected from the elements. A central gangway leads to the rear, which is provided with doors opening to the full width and fixing automatically in the open position to prevent swinging back. Frosted-glass panels are provided each side, whilst below the frame level are fixed lockers to contain sundry gear, standpipes, hose, etc. The interior lighting is effected by six opal lamps with a switch under the control of the driver, and a fire-warning bell is fixed over the cab. The appearance is improved by a sloping windscreen and the body is well finished in fire-engine red.
Rescue and Fire-fighting Equipment.
On the roof is mounted a 40-ft. extension ladder provided with a specially designed, quick-release arrange ment with rubber rollers which facilitate handling. Access to the roof is afforded by neat, flush-fitting steps. The roof is, of course, specially strengthened to carry the ladder and to bear the weight of men walking on the top. Fitted to a swing arm at the back is a searchlight which can operate in any required direction.
The tender carries six 12-lb. Lux portable extinguishers and eight 50lb. Lux units, these being mounted in two banks of four along the sides. Each bank has its own hose reel, which is connected to the cylinders beneath. This Lux gear is arranged in the following manner:. The near-side bank is manifolded to that on the off side, enabling the two hose reels to be used for discharging 50-1b. cylinders independently, in the ease of the off side, for discharging four cylinders or 200 lb. together, or by releasing the two banks simultaneously and throwing over the near-side valve, giving the full discharge through one horn at the opposite side. In order completely to discharge in rotation the eight 50-1b. cylinders, the valve is thrown over to connect with the near-side bank. Each of the hose reels is equipped with a discharge horn, and spare horns are carried In case of emergency. The off-side reel carries 250 ft. or highipressure hose, whilst that at the near side has 150 ft. of high-pressure hose, in this case of smaller gauge.
' The operation of g hOse reel is purely a one-man job, and if required, telephonic communication can be kept up by the men using the horns, two reels of wire -being
supplied with the banks, and these are connected to an alarm bell. The cylinders are so arranged that they are readily accessible and can very easily be removed after discharge.
All the manifolding and piping is chromium plated, thus reducing to a minimum the labour of cleaning. Provision is made at the rear for the attachment of a Dennis trailer pump, which is thus made available for use should the tire have reached proportions that are beyond the capacity of the COfr gas.
Carbon-dioxide Gas in Liquid Form.
The gas is carried in the cylinders under a compression which maintains it in liquid form, and each of the 50-lb. cylinders is able to liberate between 450 cubic ft. and 500 cubic ft. of free gas, whilst the smaller 12-1b. cylinders approximate from 110 cubic ft. to 120 cubic ft. In other words, each pound of as stored 'under pressure in the cylinders is equivalent to between 9 cubic ft. and 10 cubic ft. of free gas. There is thus a supply of something like 4,000 cubic ft. of free gas in the eight large cylinders and a further 720 cubic ft. in the six portable units. The exact concentration of the carbon-dioxide varies with the nature of the fires, but 33i per cent., on which John Kerr and Co. usually bases its calculations, is ample for any class a fire. Carbon-dioxide gas—or, to give its chemical formula, C(2q —is a perfect non-conductor, and, in addition, causes no damage whatever to delicate electrical machinery. This is a manifold advantage which is found in few, if any, other materials utilized in the fighting of fires, for by its use the damage sustained is confined to that which is actually due to the fire. In addition, there is no mess to clean up after the con-. flagration has been subdued.
If, on arrival at a fire, it is discovered that the full resources of the tender are not required, only the portable Lux extinguishers need be brought into use. Two of these are at each side of the doors at the back of the body, whilst a further two are near the off-side front door, so that in each case they are readily accessible.
The Lux COt equipment for this most efficient tender has been supplied by the Walter Kidde Co., Ltd., Cambridge Works, Montague Avenue, Hanwell, London, W.7. This concern is associated with John Kerr and Co. (Manchester), Ltd.
A Type Which Will Be Watched.
Undoubtedly, the activities of this interesting unit in combating fires will be watched with the greatest interest by municipalities and all those who a.n called upon to contend with outbreaks of natures with which this new equipment is especially designed to cope.
There is no doubt that the great use which is now made of the many highly combustible materials, such as petrol, benzene, etc., not only in respect of motor vehicles but for numerous manufacturing and cleansing processes, demands very specialized appliances quite different from those employed in normal circumstances. 'Hitherto, the most popular types of machine for such purposes have been those using either a chemically prepared liquid or a foam, and it will undoubtedly be of value to compare the results obtained with the equipment supplied with this new tender and those achieved by appliances with which we are already familiar. We are not yet able to give particulars as to the comparative costs of this type of machine, either from the point of view of capital outlay, or as regards the cost of replenishing with gas, but, when available, the • data should be most interesting.