Essay on Smooth Bore vs. Fog Nozzles

1418 Words Dec 11th, 2012 6 Pages
Old School: Smoothbore Nozzles in the Fire Service

The City of ______ Fire Department is in current discussion of using either smooth bore nozzle versus combination nozzles in commercial structures. This conversation has been a topic within the fire service since the introduction of the fog/combination nozzles in the 1960’s. Although there are positives to both pieces of equipment, I believe that the department needs to make a decision on which nozzle to use for a standard operating procedure and safety purposes.
To better understand the background of the contrasting views, we must look at how the fire service has developed around
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I recommend going back to the smooth bore for numerous reasons that will be discussed.
Smoothbore nozzles are the safest and most appropriate nozzles for interior fire attack. There is virtually no chance of them clogging with debris and little chance of any other malfunction. The solid stream will penetrate deeper into a fire than MOST straight streams before it is affected by heat. There is no chance that an inexperienced nozzle man will have it set on the wrong pattern (fog), or have it change to the wrong pattern (fog), while dragging it to the fire area. A smart and experienced nozzle man knows that with a combination tip they MUST check the pattern before opening the nozzle or they may cause a world of hurt by excessive steam production.
Now, there are places where a combination nozzle may be a better choice. When looking to make aerated foam, or using Class A foam in either dish water consistency or in more sudsy blanketing style. Many proponents of combination tips like to talk about using the stream to vent with and this does work well with a narrow fog pattern fit to the window. But it can also be done with a smoothbore nozzle partially opened.
The last component of a combination nozzle that I want to dismiss out of hand is the fallacy of protection while using a wide fog inside a structure in a superheated atmosphere. WRONG and very dangerous. In the olden days, right after horses, we used to crawl into the room, flop on our backs, grab the hose back a

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