No one can deny that the nozzle is one of the most important firefighting tools; therefore, those used by the fire department should be selected carefully, tactically, and with professionalism. Think before you leap. You always make sure what kind of job you want to do with the nozzle before you decide what type of nozzle you want to buy.
One of the reasons why nozzles were invented is that the right amount of water needed to put out the fire can be provided in the right form at the right place. To achieve this goal, nozzles are required to meet three fundamental requirements as follows:
1. How to control the water flow smoothly: The size of the nozzle’s orifice controls the water.
2. How to provide the reach accurately: The restriction at the end of the waterway created by the nozzle transform water pressure to velocity necessary to direct the water to desired directions and penetrate the targets.
3. How to create desired forms of water: Which method should be used to apply water or foam is based on what kind of situation that is encountered. Different nozzles can provide various forms of water delivery based on fireground situations, ranging from straight streams to fog sprays.
In this regard, a few important things are required for you to pay attention to before your purchase of new nozzles.
The first thing you need to determine is what type of nozzles you want. Basically, there are a number of options available:
1. Solid Bore Nozzle
As one of the four most basic types of nozzles, the solid or smooth bore nozzle is designed to produce a solid stream with maximum reach and strong penetration.
2. Single (aka fixed, variable pressure, or variable flow) Gallonage Nozzle
This type of nozzle is simply a combination of fog nozzles that provides the flow at a nearly fixed rate. The flow varies, however, according to the nozzle pressure. Some modern single gallonage nozzles can still produce quality patterns even when the nozzle pressure is reduced.
3. Adjustable Gallonage Nozzle
The newest adjustable gallonage nozzles can be manually operated without turning off the nozzle bail while selecting a desired gallonage. The same as the single gallonage nozzle, some of these adjustable gallonage nozzles can produce quality patterns even when the nozzle pressure is significantly reduced.
4. Automatic/Constant Pressure Nozzle
As what its name “automatic” is revealing, this type of nozzle serves its main purpose to maintain, to a certain degree, the constant pressure, irrespective of flows. The reason why a constant pressure can be maintained is that a device in the nozzle automatically modulates pressure according to the amount of flow that increases or decreases, thus enabling a satisfactory consistent reach.
This type of nozzle is in fact a combination of the solid bore nozzle and the fog nozzle, enabling it to produce maximum reach and penetration without sacrificing a fog stream which can be produced either simultaneously or independently. This multifunctional nozzle in a sense produces the largest flows at the lowest pressure. Not only that, but it is also suitable for multiple purposes, such as interior, exterior, and high-rise attacks, let alone foam applications, direct/indirect attacks, cooling, protection, and ventilation.
With all the helpful information provided above, you can confidently choose the right nozzle like a professional.