Who uses solid stream nozzles on initial attacks?
What about fog stream thermal breaking? What about the damage done by the force of solid streams? Any feedback?
-FF D. Betka
Norton Shores, MI
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05-16-2001, 07:06 PM #1Fireboy422Firehouse.com Guest
Solid stream nozzles on initial attack
05-16-2001, 07:13 PM #2cfr3504Firehouse.com Guest
In my area, every department that I know of uses automatic fog nozzles on their attack lines. I can't think of a department around here that uses smooth bore nozzles, most only have them on the truck for ISO, if they have them at all.
05-16-2001, 07:48 PM #3ArmyTruckCompanyFirehouse.com Guest
My volunteer outfit has both 1.75 and 2 inch attack lines on our attack rig. There are fog nozzles on all of them except one of the 2 inch lines, which has a 15/16 FDNY style smoothbore. This is a 200' line, and with the smoothbore, is so easy to handle with two people....I may have the math wrong, but if I remember correctly, we pump it at 90psi getting about 50 at the tip, and 178 gpm. This line kicks ***. Interior Damage is usually limited due to quick knockdown.
"Loyalty above all else, except honor."
05-16-2001, 09:11 PM #4MB1213635Firehouse.com Guest
We run with all Smoothbore on our lines except the trash line. Smoothbores are great when used properly. They pack a hefty punch at a lower psi than most automatic nozzles and are easier to handle. Also, there is usually a quicker knockdown than with an automatic nozzle based on the difference in applications of the two different streams.
05-17-2001, 12:29 AM #5Fireman488Firehouse.com Guest
I agree 100% with MB1213635...smooth bores are great for all of the reasons listed.
Just ask FDNY; it is their nozzle of choice for most jobs.
Stay low and stay safe,
05-17-2001, 12:49 AM #6Truckie5553Firehouse.com Guest
First off i must say that you should really research your topics before you make a statement about it. If you take a fog pattern and aim it into the thermal barrier you will inturn cause thermal inversion. This is where you cause all of the superheated gases to turn drop from the ceiling onto you. By doing this you have just increased the temp. around you head from 210F to nearly 1000F+.
With a smoothbore you receive 2 advantages. First you get the same gpm of an 1-3/4" at 200 psi with only using 90psi. This allows for better movement and control of the handline inside without the crew having to work themselves to death to move and control it. Secondly, with the smooth bore cone of water you are generating, you are using your stream as a knife in the thermal barrier in which when you aim you stream into it, it will break this apart and we all know that if we can break the superheated gases away from the fire, the heat inside will lower much faster.
Also remember with the smooth bore you get the stream that allows you to penetrate directly into the seat of the fire, thus breaking your fuel apart. So far i have defeated 2 of the 3 parts of the fire triangle and have done this with less work on the crew and give them better visibility inside. This brings me to my next point.
The next time you can do a training burn do this exercise. Set a 1 room contents fire that is just starting to rollover. Then make 2 different attacks, one with a fog pattern and then use the smooth bore. The fog will cause your visibility to decrease as all of the smoke, steam and heat drops on you and you go into 0 visibility. When you use the smooth bore, the barrier will not drop therefore not causing the high heat and steam to drop giving you and your crews inside better visibility.
Finally the last point i would like to make on this topic is the first time you feel the heat you drop onto yourself from using this fog stream in the thermal barrier, think about what you just did to that victim that was clinging to life just inside the door of that room. When all of thoses gases drop to the floor, one breath of air into their lungs and its all over.
All of these methods i have used in live training and actual fires. These work well for me as well as others. My best advise is to use both in the same test. If you do a 1 room content fire, use the safe type of fire for both attacks. Note both methods, affects, record temps of the fire if possible, take pressure readings for your hoses that use, and then gather all of you readings and decide with one you think works best from there.
If you would like to chat more about this topic in detail, feel free to email me.
Captain James Collier
McMahan Fire Rescue
KCTCS Area 6 Instructor
05-17-2001, 12:58 AM #7LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
Gee I can do all the above with a low pressure fog nozzle in the straight stream position and have more flexibility. Just ak 99% of the nations fire service.
05-17-2001, 01:50 AM #8StaylowFirehouse.com Guest
Fireboy, this topic is asked on these forums every couple of months. The same people give the same opinions every time. With that said, let me give you my opinion. Briefly stated, I prefer the smoothbore for many of the same reasons given above.
But, I believe that the person at the end of the hose line is more important than the nozzle. A quick response, followed by an aggressive attack are what put out the great majority of fires we face. Not the nozzle. The guy who crawls down the hall to the seat of the fire will not ,most of time, care which nozzle is at the end of his hose. Nor will it matter, most of the time.
Train with what equipment you have in order to become an aggressive fireman. With time and experience you will find out which tool works best for you. Who knows! Maybe at that time you will pick the smoothbore nozzle and be content in knowing that you have made the correct choice, while 99% of your peers have not.
Good Luck !
05-17-2001, 09:40 AM #9Smokeetr4Firehouse.com Guest
I always love this debate when it comes up. It almost resembles a political debate following party lines. The smoothies vs. the foggies. I have been in the fire service for a while now and will always be on the smoothbore side. I have used both and done a lot of research on both and for sheer controllability and knockdown potential the smoothbore nozzle wins hands down. In my opinion fog nozzles have a limited place in interior firefighting. Without getting too technical, the potential for steam production coupled with the increased discharge pressures make this choice of weapons poor at best. Lets face it--it's all about GPM's vs. BTU's. No matter what an attack line with a smooth bore or low pressure fog nozzle delivers more GPM with less discharge pressure and more penetrating power and reach than a comparable line with a fog nozzle. Use the formulas and do the math. I am not dismissing fog nozzles entirely, in fact they do have their place in the toolbox. Not inside though. In regards to causing damage,the building is on fire!!!!! and you're worried about damage? Hmmm. Let the debate continue........
05-17-2001, 04:03 PM #10CorvinFirehouse.com Guest
We recently tried some "low friction" hose in conjunction with a couple of the low pressure fog nozzles recently placed in service.
We has significant problems with this pairing. Hoze kinking increased notably, we felt even residential doors were pinching them closed more. Our hydrant pressures are great and were actually having to gate down pressures at idle.
The nozzles stayed, the hose was removed from service. Anyone else with similar issues with the low pressure/high volume delivery concept or was it just a bunch of crusty Iowans complaining about change?
05-18-2001, 06:54 PM #11JohnMFirehouse.com Guest
We use s/b nozzles only on 3" lines.(They used to be 2 1/2" but that is an whole different discussion). I wish we used s/b nozzles on our high rise packs, but we use the WORST choice, automatics. I don't have any real bad heart burn about autos on preconnects, but I want a s/b in a high rise situation. Less nozzle reaction, more flow, much less chance of standpipe debris clogging the nozzle, easier to extend the line, lighter to hump around in the bag. And so simple. Some people have told me "We need to do a lot of training to use s/b nozzles". Seems simple to me, put the wet stuff on the red stuff, and things will work out fine! And a lot of departments who see a bunch of fire swear by them. Sounds good to me. Our current officers promply yanked our s/b tips off our master stream devices, even from the aerial platform! So you know what I'm up against here!
05-18-2001, 08:29 PM #12Plug-UglyFirehouse.com Guest
I use automatic adjustable fogs on all my initial attack lines cuz that's what we got. The only solid tips we have are the old 2 1/2" playpipes. I kind of like them, they keep ol' Plug-Ugly's arms in shape .
05-18-2001, 11:34 PM #13LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
That's unfair talking about kinking with low pressure nozzles or smooth bores. You are adding too much fact to an emotional decision.
You know if this steaming thing is such a big deal with a combination bozzle, then the smooth bore is the ideal nozzle. You don't have to teach your people the difficult task of stream selection, just offer them a dummy proof smooth bore tip and lots of kinks.
I've never seen an interior attack with the nozzle on fog making steam. Narrow stream or straight stream yes, fog nope. I guess it is a regional training issue. I had no idea people would be dumb enough to use the nozzle in such a manner, if they in fact are.
If you can't trust your people to do the right thing then removing booster reels and offering smooth bore tips is the only answer.
05-18-2001, 11:44 PM #14Truckie5553Firehouse.com Guest
All im going to say is if you think that a fog pattern will not cause steam and a smooth bore will, then you have never been inside.
And just for the record, do you even know where the fog nozzle orginated from and the orginal use for it? If you dont, then maybe you should do some research and find out. You will be pleasently surprised.
Captain James Collier
McMahan Fire Rescue
KCTCS Area 6 Instructor
05-18-2001, 11:55 PM #15LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
//if you thinkl a fog ozzle won't create a steam buen,
You mean an improperly applied stream? Did I say that somewhere? Does a straigt stream out of a combo nozzle create steam? Anymore than a SB tip? How much more?
Oh that's right Truckee... everyone who uses a combo nozzle goes in in fog or wide fog and never shuts the nozzle off because they are stupid. Even when they get burned by steam they keep squirtin'
No, 95% use a straight stream and or a narrow fog in pulses and they know what they are doing and don't make any more steam than a SB. And they out number the SB guys 99 to 1 in the US fire service.
Gee, the fog nozzle was patented during the civil war. I don't give a damn how they used it then. If you are refering to Lloyd Layman you are off by a hundred years, for his application or ship board use. The Fog Hog etc was out before he ever used one.
But go ahwead and set me straight.
[This message has been edited by LHS* (edited 05-18-2001).]
05-19-2001, 01:03 AM #16A LieutenantFirehouse.com Guest
To: Fireboy422 We use SB nozzles and they do pack a good punch. Punch is one of the features that you want from a nozzle.I want a nozzle that can vent window and tear into ceiling spaces. If your using a fog nozzle in full fog thats a mistake. However if your nozzles are adjustable then in straight stream they should work ok. But a lot of these type nozzles have what appears to be a good stram ,however not enough water is flowing and you don't know it. Making your job tougher. Test both types and see for yourself. P.S. do it inside a building not outside and see how they realy proform.
05-19-2001, 01:10 AM #17NY SmokeyFirehouse.com Guest
LHS I am glad that you have received all of the proper training and expertise on how to extinguish a fire with a combination nozzle. Unfortunately, there is serious lack of live fire training throughout most of the nation. Due to liability issues and increased overall fire department expenses, it is not being taught as well to our newer firefighters. The fire departments are handling EMS, hazmat, fire prevention, public relations, and of course fire suppression. Gone are the days when all we did was just fight fires. As a consequence we cannot trust that a firefighter can be "all knowing" when it is appropriate to modify the stream on an interior operation.
It may be "dummy proofing" as you call it but what are the real disadvantages of a straight bore? If kinks in the line are all you've got, then that is a lame argument. SB nozzles use less pressure, are more effective at penetrating to the seat of the fire, produce less steam, and have less margin of error. Also it has been shown that the reactive force against the firefighters on the nozzle is much less, which helps reduce fatigue. I believe I can speak for many when I say that we just don't have the staffing levels to tire out our personnel on lines of higher pressure.
Due to the increase in the use of synthetic materials in building and furnishing homes, fires are burning hotter than ever before. Energy efficient methods are sealing the fire in and not allowing it to flashover prior to the engine's arrival. I'd much rather my guys have a stream that will penetrate the heavy heat and disrupt the thermal barrier. All this while not producing steam which will penetrate their gear and cause horrible burns.
Combination nozzles definitely have a place in the fire service. I'm just not convinced it is inside a burning building. And before you say that, 99% of the nation uses combinations so I must be full of it consider this....FDNY uses them everyday to fight fires ranging from houses to high rises. They see more fire in one year than you will probably see in your career. Apparently the things must work.
05-19-2001, 02:00 AM #18LHS*Firehouse.com Guest
/Combination nozzles definitely have a place in the fire service. I'm just not convinced it is inside a burning building
Syracuse, NY eh?
100% fog nozzles from the 60's on. Well, you all made it through the heavy fire years. Must have been better firefighters back then, is that what you are saying???? No one pumped higher EP's than Syracuse.
//received all of the proper training and expertise on how to extinguish a fire with a combination nozzle
Gee, I said that somewhere?
//. SB nozzles use less pressure, are more effective at penetrating to the seat of the fire, produce less steam, and have less margin of error. Also it has been shown that the reactive force against the firefighters on the nozzle is much less
Than SOME fog nozzles...you know none of this crap applies to low pressure combo nozzles now does it???
//FDNY uses them everyday to fight fires ranging from houses to high rises. They see more fire in one year than you will probably see in your career.
And they knock off more guys too! They just started to provide EMS, wear bunker pants, buy imagers, etc, so they a few decades behind the rest of fire service, let's not hold that against them.
Fire activity isn't something to brag about it is a living example of a failure to perform the whole task of the fire service. Try a few codes and sprinklers.
Gee, LA, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, Seattle, Miami, Chicago, LA County, Philly, Pittsburgh, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Phoenix, (should I keep listing?) etc, all see more fires combined that FDNY and use fog nozzles everyday. I'm sure there was point you were trying to make wasn't there? The point is the como works just fine.
I'll take LA as an example any day over any other big city FD, 15 years without a LODD makes them first place in the FS in my book.
Safey has more value than activity.
05-19-2001, 09:54 AM #19NY SmokeyFirehouse.com Guest
LHS just for the record I am NOT affiliated with the Syracuse Fire Department. They are a fine organization and I respect them. That is why I wanted to set that straight. I am entitled to my opinion just as you are yours.
As for LA, look at the age of the city and the codes that were put in place. New York City, Boston, Philadelphia are on totally different footing than Los Angeles. I agree that one of the missions of the fire department should be to educate and enforce codes to reduce fires. However, some people don't listen and your codes are only as good as the people that enforce them and write them.
05-19-2001, 10:22 AM #20Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
The fire departments are handling EMS, hazmat, fire prevention, public relations, and of course fire suppression. Gone are the days when all we did was just fight fires. As a consequence we cannot trust that a firefighter can be "all knowing" when it is appropriate to modify the stream on an interior operation.
Firefighting is not that hard. Firefighters with an average amount of common sense and willingness to learn, good "book" instruction, and good officers and senior firefighters who pass on their experiences to the new guys in a positive and progressive manner does wonders.
They might not get everyone right on their first fires, but with the a good background they'll figure out their mistakes real quick and soon become good jakes.
It may be "dummy proofing" as you call it but what are the real disadvantages of a straight bore?
-- Lack of ability of nozzle man to adjust flow and stream shape as appropriate to conditions. (Note, I make comparisons usually to an Automatic Combination nozzle)
-- Requires greater coordination with pump operator to achieve desired flow & proper nozzle pressure.
-- Requires pump operator to gate back lines when multiple lines of different length and diameter are being operated to insure proper pressure on the smoothbores (remember, too much pressure and you've blown you arguement for "less nozzle reaction" out of the water, while too little produces are very weak stream that the nozzle man can do nothing to improve)
-- Lack of ability to conduct direct and indirect fog attack when appropriate
-- The Automatic Combination nozzle can do everything a smoothbore can, except pass a dead mouse from a standpipe through. A smoothbore can't do much of what an auto can, and can't do those tasks better.
SB nozzles use less pressure
Usually. Although 75psi auto nozzles and and a 50 to 60psi smoothbore aren't that far off in pressure.
are more effective at penetrating to the seat of the fire,
Compared to an automatic nozzle on straight stream? Probably not much, unless you have so much fire you shouldn't be in the same fire compartment. Outside masterstream operations *might* be a different matter if you choose the right tips and flow for conditions.
produce less steam,
Steam is not a bad thing. Lots of steam is a bad thing only if you're in the fire compartment with it.
Someone has said it's battle of GPM v. BTUs. That's not quite right -- it's a battle of BTUs removed from the fire.
By definition, 1 BTU raises one pound of water on degree. However, it takes 970 BTUs to turn one pound of 212 degree water to steam.
Let's assume your water comes out the hose at 65 degrees. 8.34 lbs/gallon is the weight of water. To bring that gallon from 65 to 212 degrees is a 147 degree difference.
147 * 8.34 = 1225 BTUs. Now convert that gallon to steam, you've sucked a total of 9,335BTUs.
Want to put out a fire without making steam? Well then, you have to apply 7.5 times more water to absorb the same amount of heat.
and have less margin of error.
Also it has been shown that the reactive force against the firefighters on the nozzle is much less, which helps reduce fatigue.
This arguement shows some of the confusion that arises in this topic.
Nozzle reaction is *only* less *if* your comparing straight steam to smoothbores. If you compare smoothbores to narrow fogs or wide fogs, the fogs have much lower reaction.
And a straight stream doesn't act significantly differently in reach or steam generation than a smoothbore. Even the reaction force isn't that much different...
7/8" tip @ 50psi = 60lbs of reaction
75psi Automatic Combo set to straight stream = 70lbs
100psi Automatic Combo set to straight stream = 81lbs.
Want to see the reaction force for a higher flow?
Well, hold on a minute, I got to shut down the smoothbore, switch it to the 15/16" tip, and open up the line
15/16" tip @ 38psi = 52lbs reaction, 160gpm
Hey wait, this doesn't feel right..."Engine 1 pump operator, we need more pressure on this line"
"The one where on."
"Well, how much do you need?"
"Well, we switched to a 15/16" tip"
"Ok, give me a sec."
15/16" tip @ 50psi = 69lbs reaction
75psi automatic on straight stream = 81lbs
100psi automatic on straight stream = 93lbs
(The crew on the automatics didn't have to talk to the pump operator. He set the discharge pressure on the pump at the maximum needed to flow full volume to his handline which had the most friction loss/elevation loss and left all the gates wide opened. See the nozzles move the control of pressure and volume out to the nozzle team. Pump op stays around the truck helping changing air bottles, etc and keeping an eye that discharge volume doesn't excede supply.)
I believe I can speak for many when I say that we just don't have the staffing levels to tire out our personnel on lines of higher pressure.
Ok, and how long are we operating these lines? 20 minutes at most before your bottle is out?
I know, it's an extra 10 or 12lbs of reaction if you bought the low pressure autos. And I know, what, in average house fire we advance a charged line what, 30'? 50' or 60' inside if it's a big house or small commercial building?
Due to the increase in the use of synthetic materials in building and furnishing homes, fires are burning hotter than ever before.
Ok, has anyone ever taken a look at furniture from 1970? Can you say foam rubber?
Energy efficient methods are sealing the fire in and not allowing it to flashover prior to the engine's arrival.
Ok, let's see, well, wasn't it 1973 when the first energy crisis hit and people started the buttoning up their houses? Or was it in the late 70s when Jimmy Carter asked us to put on a sweater and turn down the thermostat. "Todays" houses have been with us in furnishings and energy efficiency for 30 years.
I'd much rather my guys have a stream that will penetrate the heavy heat and disrupt the thermal barrier.
I'm assuming you meant *not* disrupt the thermal barrier (and I do my fair share of typos ) Sometimes that's appropriate.
On the other hand, what is that thermal barrier? Is the area of the room where the surfaces are being heated, producing more and more combustible gases? Is the area that heat is building up towards the auto-ignition temperature. Is the area that if your lucky you will see some rollovers that precede it flashing over?
Is it a bad thing to disturb it and break up the chain reaction that is the fire trying to flashover?
All this while not producing steam which will penetrate their gear and cause horrible burns.
OK. All Probies repeat after me, "We do not use fog tactics in an unventilated compartment in which we are in." Very good class.
FDNY uses them everyday to fight fires ranging from houses to high rises. They see more fire in one year than you will probably see in your career. Apparently the things must work.
And they also arrive with more manpower in a more timely manner on a typical fire than most career firefighters will see in their careers.
The tactics work well for FDNY, and they use aggressive VES and search crews ahead of the hose team. They arrive timely enough with enough resources for their both to be viable life and the resources to find and rescue it. They have the manpower on the 1st alarm to move in 2 2.5" lines on most fires. They are not your average department.
A much more common scenario is for a single three man engine to arrive at a vented room & contents fire. Yep, a smoothbore can put it out. Or with the auto nozzle, the officer & nozzle man can do a quick interior sizeup, hit the hall with the straight stream to knock any fire back and cool the hall to reduce the chance of roll/flashover. Get to the room door, open up to a narrow fog, and a) the fog puts fire out faster by absorbing more BTUs and b) pushes the fire, steam, and smoke out the vented window. Since the pump op just set-and-forget the pump since he doesn't have to adjust pressures for the smoothbore, he can have the PPV setup trying to remove the smoke & heat from the building that is endangering anyone trapped inside, and the officer & nob have the direct problem of the fire knocked down. And about know you hear the sirens of your next approaching company. (Well, OK, we had a Chief too to meet two in/two out.)
The *only* valid arguement I have ever heard that I can't defend an auto nozzle against is "debris and dead mice" in standpipes. Fortunately, most of the nation doesn't operate of standpipes...and those that do regularly probably have better and quicker staffing levels.
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