US 3878896 A
A fire fighting unit which includes a metal container housing a plurality of tanks and a flexible hose wound on a storage reel. The tanks are filled with a fire extinguishing liquid and a neutral gas under pressure. Each tank is closed by a valve coupled to a detachable gear and a handwheel mounted exterior of the container for manual operation. The valves are connected to a manifold and one end of the hose on the storage reel. To prevent the contents of one tank from transfer to another tank, a series of one-way valves is connected to the manifold.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent White et al.
FIRE FIGHTING MODULE Inventors: Ernest M. White, Babylon, N.Y.;
George S. Covarrubias, La Puenta, Calif.
Assignee: CBF Systems, Inc., Covina, Calif.
Filed: Jan. 21, 1974 Appl. No.: 434,889
US. Cl. 169/9; 169/88; 239/198; 239/304 Int. Cl. A62c 27/06 Field of Search 169/5, 9, 30, 71, 85, 88; 239/195, 198, 302, 303, 304
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2/1960 Porter 169/9 X 4/1968 Wesson 169/9 Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Michael Mar Attorney, Agent, or Firm-James M. Heilman; Anthony J. Casella  ABSTRACT A fire fighting unit which includes a metal container housing a plurality of tanks and a flexible hose wound on a storage reel. The tanks are filled with a fire extinguishing liquid and a neutral gas under pressure. Each tank is closed by a valve coupled to a detachable gear and a handwheel mounted exterior of the container for manual operation. The valves are connected to a manifold and one end of the hose on the storage reel. To prevent the contents of one tank from transfer to another tank, a series of one-way valves is connected to the manifold.
9 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAPRZZISTS summers FIG.|
PATENTEUAPRZZIQYS 3,878,896 sum 3 if 13' FIRE FIGHTING MODULE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The general threat of fire has caused the design and manufacture of many different types of fire fighting equipment. Large trucks with water filled containers have been used to fight forest fires and other fires in remote areas. Single portable tanks holding a soda solution and equipped with a short hose have also been used for small fires. Many other designs have been used with limited success but there has always been a need for a semi-portable unit which conbines portability with a long reelable hose. increased storage facilities for fire fighting liquids. and a fire extinguishing liquid having an increased efficiency for extinguishing fires.
The present invention has all these qualities and is a marked improvement over prior designs. The unit can be moved by one man to the vicinity of the fire, then the hose is unreeled, the valve of one of the tanks is opened and the contents of the tank sprayed onto the fire. For longer trips a truck or wheelbarrow is used.
A feature of the invention is the combination of a portable fire fighting unit with large storage space (two to six tanks) and a long length of reelable hose.
SUMMARY The invention comprises a mobile fire fighting unit which includes a supporting structure with a container and a rotatable hose reel. The container houses at least four tanks containing a fire extinguishing liquid. such as bromotrifluoromethane (CBrF Each of the tanks is provided with an outlet pipe and valve for discharging the liquid. A neutral compressed gas, such as nitrogen. is placed in the tanks to force the liquid out when it is to be used. The tank valves are operated by suitable electrical or mechanical means. One embodiment comprises handwheels exterior of the container. coupled to the valves by a pair of gears. The tank outputs are coupled to a manifold which contains one-way valves and is connected to one end of the flexible hose.
Additional details of the invention will be disclosed in the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES FIG. 1 is a diametric view of the fire fighting unit, showing the container. the handwheels. the hose reel and a nozzle at the free end of the hose.
FIG. 2 is a top view of the unit with a part broken away, showing a portion of the manifold and the gear coupling means between the hand wheels and the tank valve.
FIG. 3 is a side view of a preferred form of a nozzle having an aspirating tube and a lever actuated control valve.
FIG. 4 is a cross sectional view of the container. taken along a median line, showing the four tanks and the mechanical means for securing them.
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional view of the container taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4, showing additional details of the valve couplings and a portion of the manifold.
FIG. 6 is an isometric diagram of the manifold pipe system.
FIG. 7 is a detailed side view, with some parts in section, of the aspirating nozzle which mixes air with the fire fighting liquid.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the figures. the fire fighting unit includes a base 10, a container 11, made of metallic or non-metallic material and having two doors, and a hose reel 12, with means 13 for reeling in the hose after use. The reel 12 is supported on a hollow shaft which is rotatably journaled in two pillow blocks 15 positioned on the top of two plates 16 secured to the base 10. A flexible hose 17 is wound on the reel 12 and the end of the hose adjoining the shaft 14 is connected to the hollow portion so that liquid forced through the shaft will be carried through the hose l7 and emerge at a nozzle 18. Shaft 14 is connected to a rotary joint 20 and a flexible manifold conduit 21 for receiving the contents of the tanks. After the fire has been extinguished. the hose may be returned to its storage reel by means ofa handle 22, shown in dotted lines in FIG. 2. The passage of the hose 17 to and from the reel 12 is facilitated by means of a throat 23 bordered by a pair of rollers 24.
Four tanks 25 are housed in container 11 and are secured by straps 26 to a framework which includes a set of cross bars 27 and vertical bars 28 (FIGS. 4 and 5). Each tank 25 is provided with a siphon dip tube and an exit port 30 with the usual threaded means for attaching other pipes and valves. The fluid in the tanks is controlled by a globe valve 31 having a stem fastened to a miter gear 33. The other side of the globe valve 31 is connected to a short length of a flexible hose 34 and a manifold 35 (FIG. 5). Just before entering the manifold 35, a one-way valve 36 is connected in series with the hose 34 to prevent liquid and gas from flowing from a full tank to an empty one.
The front portion of the container 11 is closed by two doors 37, each supporting a pair of pressure gauges 38 and in this embodiment each having a pair of rotatable hand wheels 40. The hand wheels are connected to a short shaft 41 held in place by a bracket 42. Shaft 41 is terminated by a miter gear 43 which meshes with gear 33 when the door 37 is closed. In order to insure proper meshing and transmission of motion, a guide plate 44 is secured to the underside of bracket 42. The guide plate 44 is formed with a slot. as shown in FIG. 2, which engages the stem of the ball valve 31 and retains the two miter gears in mesh as long as the door is closed.
Any type of nozzle 18 can be used at the end of hose 17 but the nozzle 18A shown in FIG. 3 is the preferred type since it has a handle 45, a control valve built into the nozzle and operated by a lever 46 and an aspirating tube 47 near the exit end. Tube 47 is equipped with slots 50 which draw air through the tube and mix it with the fire extinguishing liquid. Details of the aspirating components are shown in FIG. 7 where an interior nozzle 53 directs the fire fighting fluid along an axial path through the main tube 47. A diaphragm 54 is added to the nozzle to create a slightly turbulent flow so that the surface of the jet leaving the nozzle 53 is irregular and thereby draws more air through the slots 50. The diaphragm 54 is interchangeable for a different orifice sizes to allow for differences in pressure created by ambient temperature extremes.
FIG. 6 shows the construction of the manifold and the inter-connected tanks 25, each tank connected through a one-way valve 36. Either flap or ball types may be used. As indicated in the drawing, the preferred arrangement includes joining the pipes from the tanks at the rear of the housing. opposite the door openings.
The operation of the device is evident from the above description. The unit is moved to the vicinity of the fire by any convenient means. Then the hose is unreeled and the liquid in one of the tanks is discharged through the manifold and flexible hose by turning its handwheel 40. If one of the tanks is not enough to put out the fire. a second tank is used. When the fire is out. the hose is replaced on its storage reel by the use of handle 22 and its support 13. Any or all of the tanks may be replaced by loosening the straps 26. uncoupling the valves and moving the tanks through doors 37. The straps 26 are equipped with catches 51 for convenient release of the strap tension.
The above described unit is safe since the tanks are protected by the housing from flying objects and from excessive radiant heat. sometimes experienced at fires. If. for any reason. the tank temperature causes the contents to form dangerous pressures within the tanks and manifold. a relief valve 52 (FIGS. 2 and 6) is opened and the pressure is relieved.
The embodiments of the invention, in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed. are defined as follows:
I. A mobile fire fighting unit comprising:
a. a supporting structure including a base. a container secured to the base. and a rotatable hose reel mounted beside the container for storing a flexible hose:
b. a plurality of storage tanks mounted within said container. each of the tanks containing a fire extinguishing liquid and a neutral gas under pressure. each of said tanks including an outlet pipe for filling and removal of its contents;
c. a valve connected to each of said outlet pipes. each valve coupled to a first gear for opening and closing the valve:
d. a plurality of manually operable handwheels mounted exterior of the container and each handwheel coupled to a second gear which meshes with the first gear for opening and closing said valves; and
e. a plurality of conduits. forming a manifold con nected between each of said valves and one end of the hose for conveying the contents of the tanks to the hose. said conduits each including a one-way valve which permits liquid and gas to flow from the connected tank to the hose but prevents reverse flow.
2. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein each of said tanks is connected to a pressure indicating meter mounted exterior of the container for indicating the pressure within the tank.
3. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said first and second gears are miter gears and are guided into meshing condition by a guide plate formed with a slot for engaging a portion of the gear.
4. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said storage tanks are secured within said container by straps.
5. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said handwheels are mounted on a door that is opened to replace exhausted tanks.
6. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein said rotatable hose reel contains a flexible hose joined to the manifold by a rotatable coupling joint at one of its ends.
7. A unit as claimed in claim 6 wherein the other end of the hose is coupled to an aspirating nozzle.
8. A unit as claimed in claim 1 wherein four storage tanks are provided.
9. A mobile tire fighting unit as in claim 1 wherein from two to four storage tanks are provided.