I've used them on occassion, and can't complain as they worked great. The two biggest scenerios are fires in enclosed trailers and hay bales. They work better on hay bale fires if you have a foam eductor hooked up and stuck into a bucket of soapy water (I'm sure you could use class a foam, but a bottle of dawn and a 5 gallon bucket is a helluva lot cheaper).
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07-04-2007, 09:30 AM #21
- Join Date
- May 2000
- SW MO
07-04-2007, 10:56 AM #22
does any one have research or trial of using a peircing nozzle on a suspected backdraft?
Just a thought about it....IFSTA said way back in fire school to open vertically, I'd say why would I put a ff on the roof of an explosive building?
The small hole of the peircing nozzle should do the trick of steaming it out given the three criteria of a true fog attack (high heat, underventilated, no savable lives in the compartment) (all the Layman haters post now, but do realize I am a smoothbore guy)
What do you think or have expirience with?
Also, since I am a sb guy, I'd unscrew the 15/16th off the Akron valve and attach the peircing nozzle right there....no shutting down and draining the line
07-04-2007, 01:21 PM #23
Same Line Of Thought
Personally, I'd be a bit leary about the GPMs being able to significantly affect a backdraft situation. I think most of the nozzles we checked into rated around 125 GPM. There are some heavy hitters on the market that more than double that, but they are larger, more cumbersome units.
It's a great question, though. I wish I could find some research data on the subject.
07-05-2007, 10:31 AM #24
DocVBFDE14, thanks Doc. The only ones I have seen (and have) had the hose connection at the rear."This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?
07-05-2007, 10:45 AM #25
IACOJ and proud of it
Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.
07-05-2007, 12:32 PM #26
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
If you look back at my post, we have only used them on attic fires that are not fully involved. We have a lot of prefab homes in our area that were made in the 70's. Note, these are not trailer homes, but homes that were built in a factory with the intention that they would be put on a foundation and never moved.
They used radiant heating built into the sheetrock in the ceilings.
About 10 years later, a local company started a manufacturing a loose insulation product made of recycled newspapers. Company lasted about ten years and went out of business.
Because it was cheap and local, a lot of people filled their attics with this stuff.
Over time, the fire retardent in this insulation has begun to degrade. It will now smolder and produce heat and smoke, but not really flame. Because it is insullation, it holds heat really well and the thermal imagers are really good at pinpointing the hot spots.
Now back to those radiant heat ceilings I mentioned. Those are starting to break down too. We get at least one fire a year started by a short in those things. The short catches the cellulose insulation on fire. We get a hot smoky punky type fire that can generate a lot of heat and eventually can build up enough heat catch the whole roof on fire.
If we catch it in the punky stage, we have found the piercing nozzle is tremendous. You can go through the roof or the sheetrock below, but the idea is make the steam work for us.
A straight stream attack uses the cooling power of water to put to fire out. You put so much water on the fire that it can't generate enough heat to stay burning. It works, it's easy.
A steam attack removes heat in the production of the steam, but it can also displace oxygen. The steam can also penetrate the cellulose insulation.
The old method for handling these fires was open up the roof and use scoop shovels to throw all the insulation out onto the ground outside an overhaul it there. It was labor intensive, it took hours, it generated tremendous damage to the home. The last time we did it, it took 6 hours, one fire fighter almost fell through the ceiling below. We ended up removing almost 50% of the roof to get to all the insulation.
Using piercing nozzles, we open up less of the roof, we spend less time on scene, we generate almost no water damage.
This is a specialized attack for a specific circumstance.
As far as hay fires go, when we using a piercing nozzle on a thousand pound bale, we don't have to then open up the bale and spread it out to overhaul it. That is part of the point of using the nozzle.
In the past 5 years we have fought well over 30 haystack fires and never had a rekindle using this method.
07-05-2007, 01:18 PM #27
Please correct me if I am wrong, but if I understand what you are describing correctly, you're saying that you no longer remove the cellulose insulation after the fire is out.
If you do in fact remove it, why not just wet it down with a controlled stream as you go?
Recycled cellulose insulation is everywhere in this area. Every fire I have ever fought that involves the attic, removal of the insulation is a basic step in overhaul. There are times that we have shoveled it out from inside the attic, but more often, it is removed simply by pulling the ceilings.
I have seen this stuff smolder for hours on end. I am never comfortable leaving any of it in place (in the fire area) due to the high possibility of a rekindle.
Drywall and insulation is relatively cheap as compared to the alternative.
Therefore, since we will be removing the stuff anyway, using a piercing nozzle for attack seems pointless. Not to mention that a small smoldering section of insulation (or structural component) will produce virtually no steam at all unless water is applied directly to the burning surface. That being the case, a controlled stream from a conventional nozzle will cause less water damage, ensure extinguishment and reduce the possibility of a rekindle.Fire Lieutenant/E.M.T.
IAFF Local 2339
K of C 4th Degree
"Fir na tine"
07-05-2007, 01:27 PM #28
We have them for both of our ARFF trucks. They are operated with air to drill through the plane and then you open up the nozzle. We haven't used it on a real incident but use them in training. I think they are pointless personally. We only use them on cargo planes not on commercial flights. Don't want to be drilling into someones head.
07-05-2007, 02:19 PM #29
- Join Date
- Feb 2002
We have used one as an efective basement nozel and to hit voids in roof or walls. There are a lot of house-trailers with double roofs in this area and we are able to slow down or extinguish with a piercing nozel.Stay Safe ~ The Dragon Still Bites!
07-05-2007, 03:08 PM #30
- Join Date
- Jun 2007
Just used a piercing nozzle about two weeks ago. One of those big trash compactor dumpsters at the rear of a store caught fire. Seat of fire located somewhere in the middle of the dumpster. Dumpster had two screw-off caps on side walls. Opened up the screw cap, stuck the piercing nozzle in the hole and flooded the seat of the fire putting it out. Worked fantastic. Other than that, collects dust.
I'm afraid it's one of those "we use it once a year" type of equipment. It's great when you need it...but you won't need it 99% of the time.
07-05-2007, 03:36 PM #31
- Join Date
- Feb 2005
We found we don't have to remove near as much of it.
Prior to this technique, we had one or two rekindles.
Since then, not so much.
07-06-2007, 10:43 AM #32
The nozzles you are looking at are manufactured by flamefighter for the other company. Flamefighter has a line of nozzles that are more structural oriented and are 45 degree side connects allowing the user to use a striking tool and ram them through obstructions.
try flamefighter.com for more info on them.
We've looked at the chimp, gorilla, akron, flamefighter, augustus?, and one other brand that I can't seem to place...It might have been elhart (flamefighters nozzle renamed)
10-29-2007, 12:18 PM #33
- Join Date
- Mar 2007
I see a lot of post with the same comments. "they are worthless, they are stupid, they don't work, yadda yadda yadda blah blah blah"
Most if not all of these comments are coming from guys that have never used one.
I am here to tell you that they are an amazing tool. First of all, you need to think outside of the box, and secondly, you need to get if off of the truck. They don't do squat in the compartment.
They are amazing on an attic fire. You say that you need the GPM to put the fire out. I agree. Are you using a 2 1/2? I seriously doubt it,,, you are probably using an 1 3/4" at about 150 gpm. You can put 150 gpm plus with foam through a piercing nozzle, and zero nozzle reaction.
The best senerio is to hit it before it vents. Can you imagine a 150 gpm sprinkler head in an attic that is super heated? That is a ton of steam. As long as no one is in the attic, the steam does an incredible job of snuffing the fire. If there is a chance of a backdraft, the p. nozzle is the perfect tool. The nozzle only makes a hole the size of the shaft, so It won't introduce any oxygen and it begins to cool the fire. 150 gpmX 212. Dude those are huge numbers, and it is quick. Use your second line and keep the initial line for protection.
Same with a basement fire. Use a chain saw and make a small hole and shove your 150+gpm sprinkler head over the fire. What better way to keep your crews safe.
There are a ton of uses for a p. nozzle, and I have used ours dozens of times.
Most guys are stand-offish at first, then realize just how great they are.
Give them a try.
10-29-2007, 12:28 PM #34
Actually... most car hoods are made of either composites or aluminum. In a roaring engine compartment fire, the hood will be melted away by the time you arrive!
PS: we have a few piercing nozzles... never used one in 26+ years on "da job".
Last edited by CaptainGonzo; 11-01-2007 at 07:46 PM."The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
11-01-2007, 12:42 PM #35
We have these on our newer engines. They work well, but on our truck, we have 400 ft of forestry line for the piercing nozzle. Thus, it never gets used, because no one wants to reload the forestry line. Typically, we'll just halligan the hood to death and fog it instead.
11-01-2007, 01:44 PM #36
- Join Date
- Mar 2003
Pros -- hidden voids such as "rain roofs" built over a flat roof. Slows a fire down untill you can get it opened.
Cons -- they will sometimes clog up when driven through a multi layered tar roof. Also the are usually steel and do a good job conducting electricity.
11-01-2007, 05:51 PM #37
We have used the same home-made nozzle for about 20 years. It was made using a 4' length of 1 1/2 pipe with a pattern of 1/4" holes drilled in the last 18" of the pipe. One end was mated to a 1 1/2" valve and the other end to a chrome-moly tip with a sharp point. It is a heavy beast but when we need it, we use it. We do not keep it a compartment, but have it pre-connected on one side of the hose bed. Preconnect is the way to go as you don't waste time taking one nozzle off so you can attach the penetrator. Like any preconnect, you grab it and advance it.
It is great for hay bales and trash truck fires. As for having to tear the bales apart anyway to extinguish them, we don't. The ranchers don't want a big pile of wet hay around, so once the fire is contained, the pile is broken up and allowed to burn in smaller piles to get rid of the hay. We have used it for car fires, but advance it with another line with a "regular" nozzle attached also.
I agree that those saying a penetrator is worthless have rarely used them. Like any piece of equipment, you have to use it to get better with it.
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