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Thread: Thoughts on water curtains??

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    Default Thoughts on water curtains??

    What is everyone's thoughts on how effective water curtains can be when used to protect exposures. We recently did a controlled burn with a detached garage about 30 feet from the structure we burned. We set up a water curtain to help protect it, but standing behind the curtain I could still feel a fair amount of heat. We also used a hand line to keep the garage wet and had no problems. I tried to explain to others on the dept. that I did not feel the water curtain was very effective except for keeping the garage wet. It did not seem to do much at all for radiant heat.

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    Water curtains are mostly useless for controlling radiant heat. The best way to protect exposures is exactly what you said - apply the water to the surface of the exposure for best protection.
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    Good observation

    They need to remember the basics conduction, radiation, convection

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    When you look at the BTU's passing through a given cross-section of space, i.e. the little film of water that a curtain creates, I don't think that enough cooling could take place to amount to a hill of beans. Far better to direct that water onto the exposure itself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JSMV72 View Post
    What is everyone's thoughts on how effective water curtains can be when used to protect exposures
    Something about tits on a bull come to mind..........
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    Water curtain devices are ONLY effective if they place the water on the building or other exposure they are trying to keep cool. I have seen some home made water curtain devices where the plate to deflect the water was at a slight angle to direct the water towards the building, as opposed to having it flow straight up. Honestly, unless manpower is a huge issue, and water supply isn't, I think one firefighter with a hoseline spraying the exposure as needed may be more effective and a much more efficient use of the water.
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    What is there to think about? "Water curtains" don't work. If you want to protect an exposure, you need to put the water on it directly. Spraying it in the air between the fire and the exposure provides virtually no cooling.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Something about tits on a bull come to mind..........
    Indeed. Albeit if properly set up, they can be effective, I haven't seen one used except during training in over 20 years.

    Every time, I have seen exposures either covered with a handline, deck gun, or ladder - never a water curtain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeputyMarshal View Post
    What is there to think about? "Water curtains" don't work. If you want to protect an exposure, you need to put the water on it directly. Spraying it in the air between the fire and the exposure provides virtually no cooling.
    I do Agree with you in this situation, But they do have some good uses. Lets not completely cut them down(thumbsup)
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    we have also tried it on a detached cabin. I the water curtain did not make it any better and as per our conclusion, it is totally rejected. But is there any other alternative?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JSMV72 View Post
    I tried to explain to others on the dept. that I did not feel the water curtain was very effective except for keeping the garage wet. It did not seem to do much at all for radiant heat.
    Why re-invent the wheel? Almost every strategy & tactics book says that water curtains are a waste of time, effort, and water. Apply the water ON the exposure for the maximum protection.
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    Quote Originally Posted by reaganfleming1 View Post
    Sydney has been having a big problem with over sized trucks driving into tunnels that are too low. So Sydney needed a stop sign that is absolutely impossible to miss. Here it is and it's amazing.

    It's a curtain of water with a stop sign projected onto it. You can have as many overhead stop signs as you want, but as this 10 News video report shows, truck drivers still crash their trucks into these low-overhead tunnels. Sydney was tired of the delays, the costs of the damages, and the threat that a truck crash would get someone killed.
    Link for the lazy. Interesting idea...

    So if your car is on fire just park it under this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by dfwfirefighter View Post
    Why re-invent the wheel? Almost every strategy & tactics book says that water curtains are a waste of time, effort, and water. Apply the water ON the exposure for the maximum protection.
    I guess im missing something -I modified our water curtain (home made) so it can tilt and flow water across the surface. sure a hand line is better, but in a short handed situation it will work. and as a side note , I turn my comco nozzle to flush when covering an exposure , any one else?
    ?

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    A water curtain is the "curtain" or wall of water you insert between the fire and the exposure, regardless of the appliance you use to put it there. The overwhelming consensus is that applying water onto the exposure itself is much more effective. But if you do this, it is not a water curtain. It's just "cooling the exposure".
    I've never seen a water curtain attempted; it's just not part of our arsenal.

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