Nozzles are the backbone of a firefighter’s equipment. They control how far and fast water moves as well as how deeply it penetrates a burning fuel. Nozzles also determine the amount of gallons that are delivered to the fire and how easily a hoseline is physically manageable. It’s critical for every firefighter to understand the nozzles they use and how each operates.
Firefighters need to know if a nozzle is a smooth bore or fog and if it has a left or right twist, but understanding the nozzle goes much further than that. Nozzles are one of the most important tools to help fight fires and protect on-duty firefighters from injuries. This article provides a detailed look at the nozzles that are available to firefighters and how they differ.
Smooth-bore nozzles deliver a solid water stream with no breakup or dispersion. This type of nozzle allows for maximum reach and penetration at the seat of the fire but doesn’t absorb as much heat as nozzles that produce a broken or fog pattern.
Nozzle reaction is determined by flow, nozzle pressure at the inlet and pattern. The higher the flow and nozzle pressure, the more reaction force. As human resources are limited, it is helpful to consider nozzles with lower flows and lower nozzle pressure to reduce reaction and increase the number of firefighters that can work a line for longer periods of time. The National Fire Protection Association has created guidelines that specify the flow and pattern capabilities of firefighting nozzles. fire nozzle