When it comes to firefighting, choosing the right tools for the job makes all the difference. From hammers to saws, the correct tool is essential for completing a task safely and efficiently. This same principle applies to nozzles. Nozzles come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and spray patterns to suit specific firefighting applications. Nozzles are also available with different features that can increase functionality and provide firefighters with greater flexibility when responding to emergency situations.
Choosing the right nozzle for your fire truck can help prevent injuries to firefighters. Nozzle reaction — the amount of force exerted on the nozzle operator by water pressure — can be dangerously high when used incorrectly. The National Fire Protection Association has created guidelines for fire hose nozzles to ensure firefighters can use them correctly. These guidelines, written in the NFPA 1964: Standard for Spray Nozzles, establish standards for spray patterns, gallonage and other specifications for nozzles.
Fire fighting nozzles can be divided into four categories by their ability to vary settings for pattern, gallonage and pressure. Those that have variable settings include automatic, constant gallonage and selectable gallonage spray nozzles. Automatic spray nozzles can change between straight stream and fog patterns, while maintaining a consistent water flow rate. Constant gallonage nozzles have one fixed orifice size for all pattern types and spray angles, while selectable gallonage nozzles allow firefighters to choose from several orifice sizes for each of the different patterns.
Both types of nozzles can be enhanced with stacked tips, which can further alter the water flow for better reach and penetration when needed. They can also be equipped with remote operations and autonomous control capabilities, which allow firefighters to operate them from another location on the scene.
Besides changing the spray pattern and pressure, other factors that can make a fire nozzle safer to handle include how easily the nozzle can be activated, deactivated and adjusted. NFPA 1964 requires that each nozzle be able to open with no more than three pounds of force for lever- and rotational-type controls. The nozzles must also undergo rigorous durability tests to ensure they can be handled under demanding conditions, including being dropped from a height of two feet and exposed to both high and low temperatures for 24 hours.
The selection of fire hose nozzles at Feld Fire includes a wide range of options from the best manufacturers in the industry. The 1 1/2″ combination fog nozzle, for example, is perfect for commercial and industrial applications. Its low-pressure operation is ideal for protecting equipment and electrical switching panels from damage during a fire incident, and its adjustable gallonage means you can switch between stream and fog modes. This allows you to reduce the amount of water flowing out in a direct stream when there is risk of injury to personnel or damage to equipment. The nozzle also features an on/off valve for easy switching between different water flows and can be used on either 1 1/2″ or 2″ fire hoses. Fire Fighting Hose Nozzles