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  1. #1
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    Default fog vs straight stream research

    just a random thought...

    Ive seen countless videos of training rooms which they simulate a room and contents fire that shows all stages of fire up to and including flashover. I always thought it would be helpful to stage 2 identical rooms; one with a pre-piped straight stream and the other with a fog nozzel. It would be great to see both used in ways that we have all been tought and to be able to fully analyze temps, therma shifts, and pressures. I feel this could help us try to determine which one really works better.


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    I can gurantee you one thing.
    Putting water on fire, quickly, is the bestest.
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    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsvp View Post
    just a random thought...

    Ive seen countless videos of training rooms which they simulate a room and contents fire that shows all stages of fire up to and including flashover. I always thought it would be helpful to stage 2 identical rooms; one with a pre-piped straight stream and the other with a fog nozzel. It would be great to see both used in ways that we have all been tought and to be able to fully analyze temps, therma shifts, and pressures. I feel this could help us try to determine which one really works better.
    If only it were that easy!

    There have been numerous research projects around the world that have attempted just this. However, there are so many variables involved that it is difficult to formulate the 'better' option. By changing or influencing variables such as -
    • Fuel type
    • fuel form
    • fuel location
    • fire load
    • ventilation parameters
    • forced drafts
    • accessibility to the involved fuel load

    etc etc ....

    You will obtain different results every time.

    What is certain ....
    • Fog patterns are the most effective at reducing temperatures in the overhead
    • Straight streams are most effective at penetrating deep into the fuel base
    • Both fog and straight patterns are generally equally effective in cooling the fuel surface
    • when using either stream, the method of application is critical (constant or short bursts)
    • when using fog, the water droplet diameter is critical
    • When using either stream, the flow-rate content is major critical

    There are different solutions for different situations. Same story, nether is better .... both are exceptional when used under the right conditions at the right time. The secret is knowing when and how .... regular FDS training may assist in this respect.

    Flow-rate is the most reliable key to putting fires out. You can do a lot with a little but you can do little if there is not enough!' Firetactics.com

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    Default While on the subject...Paul your comments....

    Paul, I was curious if you read Chief McGrail's book "Firefighting Operations in High-Rise and Standpipe-Equipped Buildings", specifically his reference to 3D fire attack on page 194. Have you discussed 3D tactics with McGrail and what is your response to his strong comments opposed to 3D firefighting? I have read several of your articles on the subject with interest and would like to reconcile the differing view points.

    Thank you.

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    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BScott View Post
    Paul, I was curious if you read Chief McGrail's book "Firefighting Operations in High-Rise and Standpipe-Equipped Buildings", specifically his reference to 3D fire attack on page 194. Have you discussed 3D tactics with McGrail and what is your response to his strong comments opposed to 3D firefighting? I have read several of your articles on the subject with interest and would like to reconcile the differing view points.

    Thank you.
    Hey thanks for that information. No, I haven't read the book although I have spoken with Chief McGrail several times in the past, not specifically about 3D Firefighting as I remember. I greatly respect his work ethics and would be interested to see what he has to say about 3D attack. Can you post the comments or mail me?

    What I would say is that I have strong reservations about the use of 3D water-fog applications on the upper floor of high-rise buildings. In general, if you cannot get adequate nozzle pressures, you should not be using this approach.

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    Forum Member MemphisE34a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    • Fog patterns are the most effective at reducing temperatures in the overhead
    .....and when applied in a continuous pattern, the best way to produce copious amounts of steam and produce self inflicted burns almost every time.

    Congrats Paul. You made it 443 posts before I figured out that was you!!! Hope all is well.
    RK
    cell #901-494-9437

    Management is making sure things are done right. Leadership is doing the right thing. The fire service needs alot more leaders and a lot less managers.

    "Everyone goes home" is the mantra for the pussification of the modern, American fire service.


    Comments made are my own. They do not represent the official position or opinion of the Fire Department or the City for which I am employed. In fact, they are normally exactly the opposite.

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    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MemphisE34a View Post
    .....and when applied in a continuous pattern, the best way to produce copious amounts of steam and produce self inflicted burns almost every time.

    Yep - its all about knowing how to do it right and then also at the right time

    Congrats Paul. You made it 443 posts before I figured out that was you!!! Hope all is well.
    LOLLL C'mon Robert! Ha ha ha! All good here brother!

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    Default McGrail's Comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    Hey thanks for that information. No, I haven't read the book although I have spoken with Chief McGrail several times in the past, not specifically about 3D Firefighting as I remember. I greatly respect his work ethics and would be interested to see what he has to say about 3D attack. Can you post the comments or mail me?

    What I would say is that I have strong reservations about the use of 3D water-fog applications on the upper floor of high-rise buildings. In general, if you cannot get adequate nozzle pressures, you should not be using this approach.
    The text from page 194:

    Dangerous Procedures
    At this point, I must address some very
    dangerous and disturbing procedures that are
    unfortunately being introduced and recommended
    by some individuals. Many of us have heard the
    term three-dimentional fire attack, and about the
    use of the stream to pencil the upper atmosphere
    with short bursts of water in the form of a broken
    stream, I am very concerned and scared for the
    youth of the fire service, and specifically those who
    are taught and encouraged to use these bizarre
    methods of water delivery.
    The young, misled firefighter who is penciling
    the upper area with short bursts of water, as he
    attempts to advance deeper and deeper into a
    fire building, is on a collision course with disaster
    and potential tragedy. We must teach our youth to
    respect the fire, not play games with it. Cooling the
    upper atmosphere should be done with a forceful,
    powerful stream of sufficient GPM. A solid stream
    of water from a smoothbore nozzle is recommended
    as the best, most powerful, and safest method to
    cool the upper atmosphere during advancement
    toward the seat of fire. If a combination nozzle is
    used, and if you're lucky enough to not have it clog
    with debris from the standpipe, a straight stream
    pattern is recommended.
    Short bursts of water, especially in the form of
    water fog from a combination nozzle will do nothing
    to address the real problem-the burning solid
    fuel. Furthermore, in the high heat, unventilated
    atmosphere typical of an interior structural fire,
    especially those which occur in high-rise buildings,
    this penciling with water fog will only create an
    atmosphere of steam and exponentially greater
    "wet" heat conditions.
    Ultimately, the fire attack team must address
    the disease, not just the symptom, that is, water
    must be properly delivered to the burning solid
    fuels in order for the heat conditions to subside.
    By cooling the upper atmosphere with a powerful
    solid stream, large droplets of water will in most
    cases reach burning solid fuels, and even if the
    attack team can't actually see it, they might hear
    it. An occasional splash of water fog into the upper
    atmosphere is guaranteed not to reach any burning
    solid fuels, as it will be prematurely evaporated
    into the heat currents above, leaving the dangerous
    by-product, steam.
    Be extremely wary of concepts that include
    words and terms like theory and new age. Theory
    is defined as speculation, or a guess. New age stuff
    includes political correctness and bastardized
    ways of operating. Most importantly, avoid at all
    costs procedures that are not accepted and utilized
    by those who spend the greatest amount of time
    actually fighting fires in real buildings. Take the
    time to ask an experienced firefighter, who you
    would trust with your life, what he thinks. Would
    he do it? I'll bet his answer is, definitely not!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsvp View Post
    just a random thought...

    Ive seen countless videos of training rooms which they simulate a room and contents fire that shows all stages of fire up to and including flashover. I always thought it would be helpful to stage 2 identical rooms; one with a pre-piped straight stream and the other with a fog nozzel. It would be great to see both used in ways that we have all been tought and to be able to fully analyze temps, therma shifts, and pressures. I feel this could help us try to determine which one really works better.

    How about this research project. The New York City fire department has been using smooth-bore nozzles for over 150 years and literally 100's of thousands of real fires. Not by accident, as over the years they have tried just about every new invention in the fire service. They stuck with the smooth bores for a reason, and it has nothing to do with "tradition".

  10. #10
    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    have they tried reed hoods and the vindicator nozzle?
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

  11. #11
    EuroFirefighter Batt18's Avatar
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    Wow! Well I guess I'm kinda shocked at the Chief's words and somewhat disappointed.

    As an author of several books myself I like to think that I would at least research a particular topic, strategy or technique, even if I hadn't used this approach myself! It is clear that if these are his words, he has not received correct training in the techniques (if he has used them) and clearly misunderstands the basic concepts.

    If he had read our book (as a beginning) he would have learned that 'penciling' is a technique that is not supported by the 3D attack concepts. There are several pages devoted to what penciling is and how ineffective it can be. It is certainly NOT aligned with 3D attack. The US Navy noted this in 1994 and wqe repeated some of their tests to demonstrate what 'penciling' a straight stream can do to those on the nozzle!

    He goes on to confuse 'penciling' with bursts of a fog pattern but even then condemns this approach. I would be interested if the Chief has ever been inside a European Fire Development Simulator (FDS) unit (you call them cans). with European 3D attack instructors.

    Quote Originally Posted by BScott View Post
    The text from page 194:

    Dangerous Procedures
    At this point, I must address some very
    dangerous and disturbing procedures that are
    unfortunately being introduced and recommended
    by some individuals. Many of us have heard the
    term three-dimentional fire attack, and about the
    use of the stream to pencil the upper atmosphere
    with short bursts of water in the form of a broken
    stream, I am very concerned and scared for the
    youth of the fire service, and specifically those who
    are taught and encouraged to use these bizarre
    methods of water delivery.

    The young, misled firefighter who is penciling
    the upper area with short bursts of water, as he
    attempts to advance deeper and deeper into a
    fire building, is on a collision course with disaster
    and potential tragedy. We must teach our youth to
    respect the fire, not play games with it. Cooling the
    upper atmosphere should be done with a forceful,
    powerful stream of sufficient GPM. A solid stream
    of water from a smoothbore nozzle is recommended
    as the best, most powerful, and safest method to
    cool the upper atmosphere during advancement
    toward the seat of fire. If a combination nozzle is
    used, and if you're lucky enough to not have it clog
    with debris from the standpipe, a straight stream
    pattern is recommended.

    Short bursts of water, especially in the form of
    water fog from a combination nozzle will do nothing
    to address the real problem-the burning solid
    fuel. Furthermore, in the high heat, unventilated
    atmosphere typical of an interior structural fire,
    especially those which occur in high-rise buildings,
    this penciling with water fog will only create an
    atmosphere of steam and exponentially greater
    "wet" heat conditions.

    Ultimately, the fire attack team must address
    the disease, not just the symptom, that is, water
    must be properly delivered to the burning solid
    fuels in order for the heat conditions to subside.
    By cooling the upper atmosphere with a powerful
    solid stream, large droplets of water will in most
    cases reach burning solid fuels, and even if the
    attack team can't actually see it, they might hear
    it. An occasional splash of water fog into the upper
    atmosphere is guaranteed not to reach any burning
    solid fuels, as it will be prematurely evaporated
    into the heat currents above, leaving the dangerous
    by-product, steam.

    Be extremely wary of concepts that include
    words and terms like theory and new age. Theory
    is defined as speculation, or a guess. New age stuff
    includes political correctness and bastardized
    ways of operating. Most importantly, avoid at all
    costs procedures that are not accepted and utilized
    by those who spend the greatest amount of time
    actually fighting fires in real buildings. Take the
    time to ask an experienced firefighter, who you
    would trust with your life, what he thinks. Would
    he do it? I'll bet his answer is, definitely not!
    The Chief discusses unshielded fires where we can access the fuel base easily but fails to address the 'shielded' fires (cannot initially see or reach the fire base) which is precisely the reason we promote the 3D attack .... to deal with the gas-phase in the overhead. If he believes the smooth-bore can effectively deal with gases in the overhead better than bursts of a fog pattern he has the right to believe that. However, even dear Andy Fredericks admitted that he had never been trained or learned how to apply 3D attack and acknowledged that it would be correct to do so before 'throwing it' aside as a weapon.

    I've worked busy areas (probably busier than Denver) and I have used both approaches in training fires and in real fires. I am a proponent of high-flow attack lines from a smooth-bore nozzle in the right situation. I am also a proponent of 3D tactics. Yes ... you can have both! But its knowing when and how to apply the most appropriate stream.

    It is beyond doubt that a correctly applied fog pattern is the safest and most effective way to take heat out of the overhead. The global research and weight of practical experience clearly presents this case beyond any logical argument. Don't take me wrong .... I know when to open up the nozzle and give the fire all I've got!

    The Chief is commenting on tactics he knows little or nothing about.
    Last edited by Batt18; 04-03-2008 at 05:43 PM.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Batt18 View Post
    I have spoken with Chief McGrail several times in the past, not specifically about 3D Firefighting as I remember.
    Actually, looking back in correspondence, I don't believe I have ever spoken with Chief McGrail.

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    A question for you Paul. I read the word 'fog' a lot, and would like some clarification please (bearing in mind the way word usage changes depending on locale). Assuming for convenience that an adjustable branch (nozzle if you like) is not variable, but has three positions -

    JET - a solid stream of water
    FOG - a diffuse, fine droplet, wide angle spray
    SPRAY - large droplets, delivery angle between that of JET and FOG.

    For the purpose of 3D firefighting, would you be using FOG or SPRAY?
    "Professional" means your attitude to the job...

    Nullus Anxietas ..... (T Pratchett)

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    Quote Originally Posted by volfirie View Post
    A question for you Paul. I read the word 'fog' a lot, and would like some clarification please (bearing in mind the way word usage changes depending on locale). Assuming for convenience that an adjustable branch (nozzle if you like) is not variable, but has three positions -

    JET - a solid stream of water
    FOG - a diffuse, fine droplet, wide angle spray
    SPRAY - large droplets, delivery angle between that of JET and FOG.

    For the purpose of 3D firefighting, would you be using FOG or SPRAY?
    Fog here is the same as your fog.


    Solid/straight- solid steam of water
    fog- fine droplets(fog is broken down into narrow streams and wide steams...Narrow streams being a 30- degree, and wide being 90+ degree)
    broken- large droplets


    is how I was taught.
    Last edited by somebody509; 04-03-2008 at 07:56 PM.

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    I take issue with the usage of theory here. Perhaps because of my science education, I use the scientist's definition of theory (as taken from wikipedia, which for once seems to be correct):
    In science, a theory is a mathematical or logical explanation, or a testable model of the manner of interaction of a set of natural phenomena, capable of predicting future occurrences or observations of the same kind, and capable of being tested through experiment or otherwise verified through empirical observation. It follows from this that for scientists "theory" and "fact" do not necessarily stand in opposition. For example, it is a fact that an apple dropped on earth has been observed to fall towards the center of the planet, and the theories commonly used to describe and explain this behavior are Newton's theory of universal gravitation (see also gravitation), and the theory of general relativity.
    So in fact, a theory can be our best understanding of how something works, they can also be well tested and verified. If that is the case, there is very little guessing involved (see, for example universal gravitation).

    The National Academy of Sciences has this to say:
    Some scientific explanations are so well established that no new evidence is likely to alter them. The explanation becomes a scientific theory. In everyday language a theory means a hunch or speculation. Not so in science. In science, the word theory refers to a comprehensive explanation of an important feature of nature that is supported by many facts gathered over time. Theories also allow scientists to make predictions about as yet unobserved phenomena
    Last edited by Gnufsh; 04-03-2008 at 11:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyJ View Post
    How about this research project. The New York City fire department has been using smooth-bore nozzles for over 150 years and literally 100's of thousands of real fires. Not by accident, as over the years they have tried just about every new invention in the fire service. They stuck with the smooth bores for a reason, and it has nothing to do with "tradition".
    Matt, thanks for your post and your perspective on this issue. You brought up a few good points. Unfortunately, I dont fully agree with the NYC reasoning. You see, in 1994 I would have thought the same - until I spent 3 months as an intern for the City of Phoenix Fire Department. Looking at the numbers of their fire responses alone would make you think that these firefighters were some of the most expierienced in the nation. You take a second look at the numbers (as you should with NYC) and analyze them with the following factors;
    Actual number of real fires vs false alarms
    number of firefighters
    number of shifts
    number of stations
    number of apparatus
    sick and vacation leave
    actual job/task performed by the individual
    If you take a serious look at all of these factors, a typical big city firefighter will most likely put out the same amount of fire a an active volunteer in a suburban area - which isnt as much as you might think!

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    MembersZone Subscriber JHR1985's Avatar
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    whatever smidge of creditbility you had which wasnt much you just lost with that non-sense
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    i'm not going to go off on you. I'm going to let MattyJ and FFFRED...

    well, maybe a little....

    A big city firemen putting out the same amount as a vollie in a suburban area....

    yeah right.

    Tell that to Detriot guys.... to FDNY... to Houston.... to Chicago... to LAFD(well, bad example. Its probably true regarding them)

    some guys who might fight a good worker to two or three a shift on a good day.
    The Box. You opened it. We Came...

    "You'll take my life but I'll take your's too. You'll fire musket but I'll run you through. So when your waiting for the next attack, you'll better understand there's no turn back."

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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsvp View Post
    Matt, thanks for your post and your perspective on this issue. You brought up a few good points. Unfortunately, I dont fully agree with the NYC reasoning.
    Oh my stars and garters!
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    Quote Originally Posted by agentsvp View Post
    Matt, thanks for your post and your perspective on this issue. You brought up a few good points. Unfortunately, I dont fully agree with the NYC reasoning. You see, in 1994 I would have thought the same - until I spent 3 months as an intern for the City of Phoenix Fire Department. Looking at the numbers of their fire responses alone would make you think that these firefighters were some of the most expierienced in the nation. You take a second look at the numbers (as you should with NYC) and analyze them with the following factors;
    Actual number of real fires vs false alarms
    number of firefighters
    number of shifts
    number of stations
    number of apparatus
    sick and vacation leave
    actual job/task performed by the individual
    If you take a serious look at all of these factors, a typical big city firefighter will most likely put out the same amount of fire a an active volunteer in a suburban area - which isnt as much as you might think!
    I hate to tell you this BUT YOU SIR ARE A JACK@$$!!! You HAVE to be a whacker and a liar about your credits by the way you talk on this board esp. with the credits you said just completely upsetting. Not to mention you seem to be talking out of your @$$ Wait till FDNY guys like Matty and FFFRED and NYCftbl and COUNTLESS others see this.

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