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  1. #1
    Forum Member LKQVFD499's Avatar
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    Smile semi fog vs. strait stream

    I know threads about this have been discussed before but times change and I want your imput about the argument. I think both for different situations but I want to know why some of you people say you should never use a fog. Less water damage, pretection, and if used correctly very effective. Also in some cases a strait stream works great when you need distance and force on large fires. So I just want to know what the Juniors/ explorers have to say about the issue. Thanks


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    Well Juniors / Explorers shouldn't be making an interior attack so it really is a non issue.

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    I can't resist. Is that like being semi-pregnant.

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    First, you need to work on spelling. Second, Im not sure why many Juniors would know about this.

    That said, in some cases fog=steam.

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    Worldwide Menace DFurtman's Avatar
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    A full fog pattern in an enclosed space will disrupt the thermal layering, bringing steam and hot gasses down on firefighters. The only time using a fog pattern is ever acceptable is for protection, going down stairs in a basement fire. and even then that should be done as a last resort if there are no external doors to the basement.

    -Damien

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    A full fog pattern in an enclosed space will disrupt the thermal layering, bringing steam and hot gasses down on firefighters.
    Absolutely correct, if too much water is injected into the area. Unfortunately most firefighters have neither the skill nor finesse to properly use fog in fire attack.

    The only time using a fog pattern is ever acceptable is for protection, going down stairs in a basement fire. and even then that should be done as a last resort if there are no external doors to the basement.
    Protection? Perhaps if you are outside advancing on a gas fire or an aricraft fire. Not in an interior fire attack. If you use a fog pattern going down stairs into basement fire that isn't vented where is the heat and steam to go you created with your fog pattern? The basement is the ultimate enclosed area and the stairs its perfect chimney.

    I personally wish instructors and old timers would stop perpetuating the myth of protection from fog patterns in interior firefighting. It is dangerous and sometimes causes serious burn injuries using fog in unvented circumstances. Of course I understand that pulsing and short bursts into the overhead are an exception to that but that is an attack tactic and not a protection tactic.

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    makes good girls go bad BLSboy's Avatar
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    Not many Jrs or Explorers are going to be educated in this subject, so unless they have been through Fire Science and Behavior, as well as attack tactics, their opinion will probably be biased by an uneducated opinion.
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    I'm curious, why do you guys that think Explorers don't know about this information feel this way? I can't speak for all Explorers, but mine can tell you more about fire streams than a lot of the firefighters that I know. Aside from that, if you're department isn't teaching this information, shame on you. They're supposed to be learning these kinds of things, isn't that the whole point of having an Explorer post?

    As far as my opinion on the matter, both have their purpose and a time and place to use them. I have used both a "modified" fog (30-degree) and a straight stream when interior firefighting, it just depends on the fire. But, you must understand how each works in order to decide which circumstances are appropriate for which stream.

    A fog is basically scattered droplets of water. This creates a large surface area for that water and allows it to convert to steam more readily than a solid stream of water. The problem with this is that when converting to steam, the water expands about 1,700 times. If you're not careful and use it in the wrong situation or use too much, you can push that steam and/or the smoke and heat right on top of you.

    A straight stream is essentially a solid stream of water, with far less surface area. While it allows less steam conversion due to having less surface area, it has better penetrating ability.

    Examples of what I use them on are as such: if I'm at the doorway of a heavily involved room that's vented (we use PPA on both my departments), I'll kick the nozzle to a modified fog and knock it down. If I've got a limited amount of fire or I'm inside the compartment, I'll use a straight stream directly on the base of the fire.

  9. #9
    Forum Member tbonetrexler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Protection? Perhaps if you are outside advancing on a gas fire or an aricraft fire. Not in an interior fire attack. If you use a fog pattern going down stairs into basement fire that isn't vented where is the heat and steam to go you created with your fog pattern? The basement is the ultimate enclosed area and the stairs its perfect chimney.
    FyredUp,

    I beleive he means protection in the sense that room is going to flash in about 3 seconds, and its either open up on a fog pattern and risk steam burns, or don't and risk becoming crispy. We were taught as DSFS to always advance into a building with a fog pattern set, just in case.

    But i do agree with you about the basement, any type of water on the fire while you are still on the stairs is going to lead to steam burns for you and your crew, wait till you get to the bottom.


    LKQVFD512,
    For a fire attack i was taught turn the setting all way to the right, then bring it back a few clicks. Gives you plenty of reach and makes your pattern bigger to cover more area.
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  10. #10
    Forum Member LKQVFD499's Avatar
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    I agree %100 with catch 22 that if you are just in the doorway of the room a semi fog is a very good choice, but I am not saying to crawl into the middle of the room and put it on a wide fog and steam myself. I just don't think that instructors should be teaching to never use a fog in a structure.

  11. #11
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I'm curious, why do you guys that think Explorers don't know about this information feel this way? I can't speak for all Explorers, but mine can tell you more about fire streams than a lot of the firefighters that I know. Aside from that, if you're department isn't teaching this information, shame on you. They're supposed to be learning these kinds of things, isn't that the whole point of having an Explorer post?

    Because it calls for an experienced and educated opinion about something. Being explorers they simply do not have enough education or experience to offer any opinion of any value on the topic.

    As far as my opinion on the matter, both have their purpose and a time and place to use them. I have used both a "modified" fog (30-degree) and a straight stream when interior firefighting, it just depends on the fire. But, you must understand how each works in order to decide which circumstances are appropriate for which stream.

    The problem is that most firefighters do not have the skill or practice at using a fog pattern in interior firefighting appropriately.

    A fog is basically scattered droplets of water. This creates a large surface area for that water and allows it to convert to steam more readily than a solid stream of water. The problem with this is that when converting to steam, the water expands about 1,700 times. If you're not careful and use it in the wrong situation or use too much, you can push that steam and/or the smoke and heat right on top of you.

    Steam expands 1700 times at 212 degrees F. It is not out of the realm of possibility for a room fire to be well in excess of 1000 degrees F thus the steam will expand much more and much more rapidly. The result of injecting fog into an unvented area, especially in excess is you usually do one of 2 things: 1) You cause the heat, smoke, gasses AND steam to drop down on the attack crew, 2) You cause the same heat, smoke, gasses and steam to become pressurized and pushed out the very same door you are entering thru.

    A straight stream is essentially a solid stream of water, with far less surface area. While it allows less steam conversion due to having less surface area, it has better penetrating ability.

    Personally, steam conversion like you get from a fog stream used in fire attack is a negative effect that makes it less tenable for firefighters and possibly not survivable for victims of the fire. I much prefer the reach and penetration of either a straight or solid stream. I can attack the fire from a safer position and create less steam.

    Examples of what I use them on are as such: if I'm at the doorway of a heavily involved room that's vented (we use PPA on both my departments), I'll kick the nozzle to a modified fog and knock it down. If I've got a limited amount of fire or I'm inside the compartment, I'll use a straight stream directly on the base of the fire.

    There are some very important issues here in this paragraph that are essential to a safe indirect fog attack. Firefighter outside the fire room, fire room vented, positive pressure venting, modified (narrow) fog pattern.
    The facts are most times a fog attack is punishing to firefighters because of steam creation and failure of firefighters to shut down the line once the fire darkens and continuing to increase steam production from excess heat in the room.

    If you have any heavy fire and you will be in the room a straight stream or solid stream is a far safer choice for fire attack.
    I am not at all talking about pulsing fire attack like Paul Grimwood advocates here I am talking about making an indirect or even a direct attack with a fog pattern and the exceesive steam that is created. Pulsing or short bursts into the overhead can have a positive effect on fire conditions as long as the amount of water applied is small and duration limited.

  12. #12
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonetrexler View Post
    FyredUp,

    I beleive he means protection in the sense that room is going to flash in about 3 seconds, and its either open up on a fog pattern and risk steam burns, or don't and risk becoming crispy. We were taught as DSFS to always advance into a building with a fog pattern set, just in case.

    But i do agree with you about the basement, any type of water on the fire while you are still on the stairs is going to lead to steam burns for you and your crew, wait till you get to the bottom.
    If you are 3 seconds away from a flashover what led you to that predicament? Further, if the room flashes all you will have from that fog is a steam burned body on top of the thermal burns from the flashover. The failure to control the overhead by cooling the atmosphere with short pulsing bursts of a narrow fog or working the straight or solid stream across the ceiling is a catastrophic training failure. The way I train firefighters to attack a room fire is to watch the overhead as they prepare to enter. If there is any fire up there I teach them to briefly sweep the ceiling with a straight stream or a couple of pulses with a narrow fog. Either way the water applied is measured in a second or 2 not prolonged application. This can quickly tell you a couple of things, is the fire burning gasses or is the actual ceiling covering burning. Once they sweep the ceiling they are taught to immediately direct a straight stream into the heart of the fire. Amazingly once you kill the heart of the fire most other problems seem to lessen very quickly.

    Stay safe out there.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by FyredUp View Post
    Because it calls for an experienced and educated opinion about something. Being explorers they simply do not have enough education or experience to offer any opinion of any value on the topic.
    I'm sure you caught what I was trying to say. But I will point out, if they don't discuss it, how are they going to learn? This is a perfect example; you have guys that are sharing their knowledge with these young men and women. If one of the pups chimes in with some BS or something from out in left field, correct them. Anything they can learn about this job is going to help them when they get into the job. It beats discussing leather vs. tupperware or any number of other silly things I can think of.

    I'd be willing to bet there are several kids who have already learned something just skimming through this thread that might help them someday.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Catch22 View Post
    I'm curious, why do you guys that think Explorers don't know about this information feel this way? I can't speak for all Explorers, but mine can tell you more about fire streams than a lot of the firefighters that I know. Aside from that, if you're department isn't teaching this information, shame on you. They're supposed to be learning these kinds of things, isn't that the whole point of having an Explorer post?

    As far as my opinion on the matter, both have their purpose and a time and place to use them. I have used both a "modified" fog (30-degree) and a straight stream when interior firefighting, it just depends on the fire. But, you must understand how each works in order to decide which circumstances are appropriate for which stream.

    A fog is basically scattered droplets of water. This creates a large surface area for that water and allows it to convert to steam more readily than a solid stream of water. The problem with this is that when converting to steam, the water expands about 1,700 times. If you're not careful and use it in the wrong situation or use too much, you can push that steam and/or the smoke and heat right on top of you.

    A straight stream is essentially a solid stream of water, with far less surface area. While it allows less steam conversion due to having less surface area, it has better penetrating ability.

    Examples of what I use them on are as such: if I'm at the doorway of a heavily involved room that's vented (we use PPA on both my departments), I'll kick the nozzle to a modified fog and knock it down. If I've got a limited amount of fire or I'm inside the compartment, I'll use a straight stream directly on the base of the fire.
    Explorer programs are designed to educate teenagers and young adults on the profession of the fire service. The program is not intented to teach kids how to conduct interior attacks. I have said it before and I will say it again. Explorer's should not be in an interior fire environment or any other IDLH environment. Efforts should be focused on the basics such as ropes and knots and how to conduct themselves accordingly both in and outside of the firehouse.

    Fog nozzles have their place, but given the modern construction and the compartmentilization that is present, SOLID streams (not straight) would be first choice. Many still argue that crew protection is needed from a fog nozzle. Interior attack crews must first learn to read the building, the smoke and the interior conditions and make the nozzle and hose line selection based on these conditions. For example, a room and contents fire can be handled efficiently with a fog nozzle. However, further involvement warrants a smooth bore nozzle.

    I prefer a smooth bore nozzle over a straight stream for many reasons. From a safety standpoint, a young inexperienced firefighter on the nozzle may forget to check the pattern before entry and when needed, the nozzle is opened up with a full fog pattern on the inside.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty42 View Post
    Explorer programs are designed to educate teenagers and young adults on the profession of the fire service. The program is not intented to teach kids how to conduct interior attacks. I have said it before and I will say it again. Explorer's should not be in an interior fire environment or any other IDLH environment. Efforts should be focused on the basics such as ropes and knots and how to conduct themselves accordingly both in and outside of the firehouse.
    Just so I'm clear on this, never have I advocated that Explorers should be conducting interior attacks. This is the kind of thing they can learn in a classroom and possibly even witness in a controlled training environment. As far as I'm concerned, "basics" includes fire behavior, hose streams, ladders, and other things that comprise our state's "Basic Firefighter Skills" class.

  16. #16
    Forum Member LKQVFD499's Avatar
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    I can see the advantages of a smoothbore for safety but you greatly increase the water/ physical damage of the structure and in most cases you can effectivly fight the fire with a fog nozzle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LKQVFD512 View Post
    I can see the advantages of a smoothbore for safety but you greatly increase the water/ physical damage of the structure and in most cases you can effectivly fight the fire with a fog nozzle.
    So, to you, water damage takes priority over firefighter safety?
    How do you know if the particular fire you are about to combat is like most other fires, or this one needs more water, quickly?
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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LKQVFD512 View Post
    I can see the advantages of a smoothbore for safety but you greatly increase the water/ physical damage of the structure and in most cases you can effectivly fight the fire with a fog nozzle.
    Water damage is less a result of the type of nozzle than the technique and skill of the nozzle operator. Once the fire is darkened down the nozzle should be shut down and the nozzle operator should be looking and listening for remaining fire to extinguish. Instead in many cases we see inexperienced nozzle operators flowing water far longer than is necessary creating water damage.

    I do have a somewhat facetious question for you though. Which nozzle flows more water and thus creates more water damage, a smoothbore nozzle flowing 250 gallons per minute or a combination nozzle flowing 250 gallons per minute? (Here's a hint, it's a trick question.)

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    Worldwide Menace DFurtman's Avatar
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    I'm afraid what was said was misinterpreted by many people here who have responded. I did not mean to say that you should put any water on a fire while going down stairs in a full fog pattern. I do mean that you should use a full fog pattern while quickly going down the stairs. The only thing protecting you from the hot gasses in the chimney effect of the stairwell is the fog stream while advancing down the stairs. after you get down the stairs you readjust your pattern to fight a room and contents fire. I did not intend on sounding like you would use a fog pattern to protect you from flashover. I know you never use a fog pattern to protect from flashover. I've taken a flashover survival course and know you shoot a straight stream pattern to cool the overhead to buy yourself a few extra seconds while you start heading back out.

    -Damien

  20. #20
    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DFurtman View Post
    I'm afraid what was said was misinterpreted by many people here who have responded. I did not mean to say that you should put any water on a fire while going down stairs in a full fog pattern. I do mean that you should use a full fog pattern while quickly going down the stairs. The only thing protecting you from the hot gasses in the chimney effect of the stairwell is the fog stream while advancing down the stairs. after you get down the stairs you readjust your pattern to fight a room and contents fire. I did not intend on sounding like you would use a fog pattern to protect you from flashover. I know you never use a fog pattern to protect from flashover. I've taken a flashover survival course and know you shoot a straight stream pattern to cool the overhead to buy yourself a few extra seconds while you start heading back out.

    -Damien
    Please explain to me the purpose of sraying a fog pattern into the stairwell as you descend the stairs. From my viewpoint all you would be doing is creating steam in an already hot or superheated environment. If there is no exit point for the steam, smoke, gasses and heat it will come right back up the stairs onto the advancing fire attack team. My experience has shown that either you can make it down the stairs or you can't and creating steam does not make the environment any more tenable. The alternatives can include attempting to affect an actual attack from the top of the stairs hoping to knock down enough fire to enter or using a cellar nozzle.

    I find the fallacy of fog as a protector inside of a structure as a dangerous idea we need to stop teaching. I swear to God if another person says to me right for fight and left for life I will just f###ing scream.

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